The average life expectancy has increased from 47 years in 1900 to 79 years in 2014,
which has led to dramatic increases in the geriatric population over the last century. By 2030, it is expected that the percentage of the population over 65 years of age will exceed 20 percent, or over 70 million people. Those 65 years and older are hospitalized three times more than 45 to 65 year old individuals. In 2015, gastrointestinal (GI) diseases contributed significantly to health care use in the United States, with approximately $135.9 billion dollars more spent annually compared to other common diseases. Gastroparesis is a chronic gastric motility disorder causing considerable distress, which has cardinal symptoms of nausea, vomiting, early satiety, belching, and/or upper abdominal pain.
Once a gastroparesis diagnosis is suspected, a mechanical obstruction should be excluded by means of an upper endoscopy. The presence of delayed gastric emptying usually establishes the diagnosis of gastroparesis.
A prospective study with 146 subjects showed that gastroparesis could present with nausea (93%), vomiting (68–84%), abdominal pain (46–90%), early satiety (60–86%), postprandial fullness and bloating.
There were 81% of females in the study with a mean age of 45 years. Gastroparesis can also present with weight loss. Several epidemiological and clinical studies suggest that the prevalence of upper gastrointestinal diseases is high in the elderly population. It has been shown that older adults with upper gastrointestinal disorders may not report specific symptoms or could even be asymptomatic, leading to a late diagnosis or severe complications. , Several clinical and functional disorders may influence the perception and referral of symptoms to the doctor, especially in the older adults. Hence, it is troublesome to diagnose gastroparesis in older adults based solely on the typical symptoms. To our knowledge, there has been no study performed solely in the older adults to evaluate gastroparesis symptoms. This study aimed to compare the gastroparesis demographics, clinical presentation, and surgical management between older and younger adults.