Morbid obesity and diverticulitis: results from the ACS NSQIP dataset

J Am Coll Surg. 2013 Nov;217(5):874-80.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2013.07.006. Epub 2013 Sep 13.


Background: We examined the relationship between morbid obesity, clinical presentation, and perioperative outcomes in patients offered surgery for diverticulitis.

Study design: We queried the ACS NSQIP dataset from 2005 to 2010 for patients undergoing surgery for nonhemorrhaging diverticulitis. Univariate comparisons were made between normal weight (NL) and morbidly obese (MO) patients in terms of demographics, clinical presentation, and perioperative and postoperative outcomes variables using chi-square or rank tests. Multivariable regression was used to adjust for age in assessing the impact of MO on the likelihood of emergent surgery (ES), ostomy creation, open surgery, and undergoing procedures without an anastomosis.

Results: We identified 10,952 patients undergoing surgery for diverticulitis; morbidly obese (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 40 kg/m(2), n = 592, 5.7%), normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 25 kg/m(2), n = 2,530, 24.2%). Morbidly obese patients were younger than NL patients by an average of 9.4 years (p < 0.001). Morbidly obese patients underwent ES more frequently than NL patients (19.3% vs 15.4%; p = 0.025). Multivariable regression identified morbid obesity as an independent risk factor for ES (odds ratio [OR] 1.75, 95% CI 1.37 to 2.24, p < 0.001), ostomy creation (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.34 to 2.08, p < 0.001), undergoing procedures without an anastomosis (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.42 to 2.24, p < 0.001), and open surgery (OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.72 to 2.53, p < 0.001). Morbidly obese patients undergoing ES had more preoperative systemic inflammatory response syndrome/sepsis/septic shock than NL patients (72.8% vs 57.7%, p = 0.004).

Conclusions: Morbidly obese patients undergoing surgery for diverticulitis are nearly 10 years younger than NL patients and are more likely to require ES, ostomy creation, open surgery, and to undergo procedures without an anastomosis. Morbidly obese patients undergoing ES also have more preoperative systemic inflammatory response syndrome/sepsis/septic shock.

Keywords: BMI; ES; MO; NL; OR; PWAN; ROR; SIRS; body mass index; emergent surgery; morbidly obese; normal weight; odds ratio; procedures without an anastomosis; return to the operating room; systemic inflammatory response syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Factual
  • Diverticulitis / complications*
  • Diverticulitis / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / complications*
  • Retrospective Studies