Studies of obesity and diverticular complications are limited.
Dr Lisa Strate and colleagues from Seattle, USA assessed the relationship between body mass index, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio and diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding.
The team performed a prospective cohort study of 47,228 male health professionals who were free of diverticular disease in 1986.
Men reporting newly diagnosed diverticular disease on biennial follow-up questionnaires were sent supplemental questionnaires.
Weight was recorded every 2 years, and data on waist and hip circumferences were collected in 1987.
|The relative risk for the highest vs lowest quartile of waist-to-hip ratio was 1.6 for diverticulitis|
The researchers documented 801 incident cases of diverticulitis, and 383 incident cases of diverticular bleeding during 18 years of follow-up.
After adjustment for other risk factors, men with a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 had a relative risk of 1.8 for diverticulitis, and 3 for diverticular bleeding vs men with a body mass index of less than 21 kg/m2.
The team found that men in the highest quintile of waist circumference, compared with those in the lowest, had a multivariable relative risk of 1.6 for diverticulitis, and 1.9 for diverticular bleeding.
Waist-to-hip ratio was also associated with the risk of diverticular complications when the highest and lowest quintiles were compared.
The team observed that the multivariable relative risk for the highest vs lowest quartile of waist-to-hip ratio was 1.6 for diverticulitis, and 1.9 for diverticular bleeding.
Adjustment for body mass index did not change the associations seen for waist-to-hip ratio.
Dr Strate’s team concluded, “In this large prospective cohort, body mass index, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio significantly increased the risks of diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding."