Risk factors for ischemic colitis include:

  • Age. The condition occurs mostly frequently in adults older than age 60. Ischemic colitis that occurs in a young adult may be a sign of a blood-clotting abnormality or inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis).
  • High cholesterol, which can lead to atherosclerosis.
  • Certain medical conditions, including previous abdominal surgery, heart failure, low blood pressure and shock.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Ischemic colitis is diagnosed three times more frequently in people with IBS than in people without that disorder.
  • Heavy exercise, such as marathon running, which can lead to reduced blood flow to the colon.
  • Surgery involving the large artery (aorta) that pumps blood from your heart to the rest of your body.
Oct. 10, 2012