Changing epidemiology: does it increase our understanding?

Dig Dis. 2012;30(1):6-11. doi: 10.1159/000335692. Epub 2012 May 3.


During the last decade there have been a number of reports using routinely collected health care administration data and from large cohort studies that have attempted to describe changes in the occurrence and identify risk factors for the development of the condition along with reporting its associated mortality. This article identified all studies reporting the occurrence and mortality associated with diverticulosis, diverticular disease and the complications of diverticular disease, notably, bleeding, perforation, fistula, stricture and abscess formation which show that there is strong evidence of an increasing health care burden associated with diverticular disease in terms of hospitalization. There is evidence of an increase in the incidence of some of the associated complications of diverticular disease, notably perforation. A number of risk factors such as body mass index, comorbidity, smoking and concurrent medications such as opiate analgesics and steroids may predispose to the development of complications. The mortality associated with hospital admission for diverticular disease is significant as is the excess mortality associated with a diagnosis of one of the complications of diverticular disease.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diverticulitis, Colonic / complications
  • Diverticulitis, Colonic / epidemiology*
  • Diverticulitis, Colonic / mortality
  • Humans