BACKGROUND: Traditionally regarded as a disease of the elderly, the incidence of diverticulitis of the colon has been on the rise, especially in younger cohorts. These patients have been found to experience a more aggressive disease course with more frequent hospitalization and greater need for surgical intervention. objective: To characterize factors that portend a poor prognosis in patients diagnosed with diverticulitis; in particular, to evaluate the role of demographic variables on disease course. METHODS: Using the Canadian Institute for Health Information Discharge Abstract Databases, readmission rates, length of stay, colectomy rates and mortality rates in patients hospitalized for diverticulitis were examined. Data were stratified according to age, sex and comorbidity (as defined by the Charlson index). RESULTS: In the cohort =30 years of age, a clear male predominance was apparent. Colectomy rate in the index admission, stratified according to age, demonstrated a J-shaped curve, with the highest rate in patients =30 years of age (adjusted OR 2.3 [95% CI 1.62 to 3.27]) compared with the 31 to 40 years of age group. In-hospital mortality increased with age. Cumulative rates of readmission at six and 12 months were 6.8% and 8.8%, respectively. CONCLUSION: In the present nationwide cohort study, younger patients (specifically those =30 years of age) were at highest risk for colectomy during their index admission for diverticulitis. It is unclear whether this observation was due to more virulent disease among younger patients, or surgeon and patient preferences.
- Young onset
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