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Digestion. 2012;86(3):201-5. doi: 10.1159/000339881. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Obesity, metabolic syndrome and the risk of development of colonic diverticulosis.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.



Colonic diverticulosis is a common condition with obscure pathogenesis. Obesity, hyperlipidemia and hypertension have been demonstrated to increase the risk of complicated diverticular disease, but the impact of metabolic risk factors on the prevalence of uncomplicated diverticulosis has not been clearly determined.


The aim of the study was to examine the impact of obesity and metabolic syndrome on the prevalence of colonic diverticulosis.


This retrospective case-control study included patients aged 40-85 years who were followed up by the Institute of Medical Screening in Israel and underwent colonoscopy in 2006-2011 for indication of colorectal cancer screening. Patients with diverticulosis as detected by colonoscopy were compared to patients without diverticulosis. The comparison parameters included medical history, biometric parameters, biochemical and lipid profile.


The study included 3,175 patients. Diverticulosis was diagnosed in 17.4% of the cohort. On univariate analysis, age, male gender, BMI (continuous variable), obesity, systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, history of hypertension, ischemic heart disease, hypothyroidism, and absence of diabetes mellitus were associated with an increased risk of colonic diverticulosis. On multivariate analysis, advanced age, male gender, obesity (BMI >30), history of hypothyroidism and absence of diabetes mellitus were associated with an increased risk of diverticulosis. Prevalence of colonic polyps was similar in patients with and without diverticulosis.


Colonic diverticulosis was associated with age, male gender, obesity and hypothyroidism. Diabetes mellitus was associated with a decreased risk of colonic diverticulosis.

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