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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can affect anyone

May 19, 2022

A spotlight on elderly patients on World IBD Day

It is estimated that more than 6.8 million people worldwide are currently living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD),1 a life-limiting condition that we know can result in debilitating physical and psychosocial symptoms for patients as well as having a wider impact on society (e.g. through workplace absence and rising healthcare costs).1 It is therefore vital that we continue to strive to address areas of current unmet need for those living with IBD, and World IBD Day, which takes place on May 19 each year, provides a much-needed platform for this important conversation. 

IBD has no age

For World IBD Day 2022, the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA) has set the theme ‘IBD has no age’, recognizing that IBD can affect anyone, and it’s often the elderly population (people aged 60+) that is overlooked in terms of their needs and the impact IBD can have on their quality of life and care. 

Elderly patients with IBD are increasing in number as our global population ages and the incidence of IBD increases.2 This presents new challenges for the management and treatment of IBD, as elderly patients often have other comorbidities2,3 and greater safety considerations as the disease course and potential side effects of treatment can impact them differently.2  

Learn more about the theme, and EFCCA activities around World IBD Day.

Delivering a global message

To support this year’s theme and to continue to encourage conversation around IBD, we invited our colleagues around the world to share photographs of themselves alongside their younger selves, including a piece of advice, to mark the perspective and wisdom that comes with age and to reinforce the consideration needed for our elderly generations. These World IBD Day #ThrowbackThursday images have been shared on our Takeda social media platforms. In addition, Takeda offices around the world have marked the day with numerous local initiatives which are a testament to the truly global nature of this important day.

World IBD Day 
2022 Collage of affected people

Our World IBD Day activities are a part of our ongoing commitment to people living with gastrointestinal (GI) diseases worldwide, as we strive to push the boundaries of scientific innovation to address ongoing areas of unmet need, whether large or small.


  1. Jairath V and Feagan B. Global burden of inflammatory bowel disease. The Lancet. 2020;5(1):2-3.
  2. Tran V, Limketkai BN, Sauk JS. IBD in the Elderly: Management Challenges and Therapeutic Considerations. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2019;21(11):60.
  3. EFCCA. IBD has no age – World IBD Day 2022. Available at: https://www.efcca.org/en/ibd-has-no-age-world-ibd-day-2022. Last accessed: April 2022.