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Diverticular Perforation Up Sharply in United Kingdom

Population-based study also finds high mortality for those with the complication

THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Diverticular perforation poses a growing threat in the United Kingdom's aging population, including an increasing incidence and high mortality rates, according to a report in the April issue of the journal Gastroenterology.

David J. Humes, M.D., of the Wolfson Digestive Disease Centre at Nottingham University Hospital in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a population-based cohort study to determine the incidence and mortality rates of diverticular perforation as a complication of diverticular disease, including the effects of comorbidities. The study looked at 953 cases of diverticular perforation between 1990 and 2005 and compared them against a general population cohort (including 9,520 men and women). Incidence and mortality rates were analyzed using Poisson and Cox regression, and comorbidity effects were analyzed using the Charlson index.

The overall incidence of diverticular perforation was 2.66 per 100,000 person-years, and was increased for those older than 45 years to 6.11 per 100,000 person-years, the researchers report. After correction for age and sex, the rates increased 2.28-fold. The three-month survival in the disease cohort was 86.3 percent, and one-year survival was 80.8 percent compared with 99 percent and 96 percent, respectively, in the general population cohort, the investigators found.

"Regardless of comorbidity, the occurrence of perforated diverticular disease confers a high risk of death, and, clearly, strategies to either prevent occurrence or to improve the care of perforated diverticular disease need to be prioritized," the authors write.

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