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Heritability and familial aggregation of diverticular disease

The latest issue of Gastroenterology reports on a population-based study of twins and siblings to investigate familial aggregation of diverticular disease.

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Little is known about the role of heritable factors in diverticular disease.

Dr Lisa Strate and colleagues from Washington, USA evaluated the contribution of heritable factors to the development of diverticular disease diagnosed at a hospitalization or outpatient visit.

Using nationwide patient registries, the team identified 142,123 incident cases of diverticular disease diagnosed at a hospitalization or an outpatient hospital visit in Denmark.

The team included cases in 10,420 index siblings, and 923 twins.

The research team calculated standardized incidence ratios for siblings versus the general population and concordance rates for monozygotic versus dizygotic twin pairs as measures of relative risk (RR).

The relative risk for diverticular disease in siblings of index cases was 2.9 compared with the general population.

The relative risk for diverticular disease in siblings of index cases was 2.9
Gastroenterology

The relative risks were similar irrespective of the sex of the sibling or index case, and were particularly strong in siblings of hospitalized cases and cases that underwent surgery.

The proband-wise concordance rate for monozygotic twins was double that of dizygotic twins.

The research team noted that the relative risk of diverticular disease in one twin when the other had diverticular disease was 14.5 for monozygotic twins compared with 5.5 for dizygotic twins.

Associations were stronger in female monozygotic twins compared with male twins.

The team estimated that 53% of susceptibility to diverticular disease results from genetic factors.

Dr Strate's team concludes, "Based on a population-based study in Denmark, genetic factors appear to contribute to development of diverticular disease."

Gastroenterol 2013: 144(4): 736-742.e1
28 March 2013

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