Dr Bryan van de Wall and colleagues from the Netherlands compared patients younger and older than 50 years with diverticulitis with regard to complications, disease recurrence, and the need for surgery.
A literature review and meta-analysis was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines.
The team searched MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane databases for longitudinal cohort studies comparing patients younger and older than 50 years with diverticulitis.
The researchers identified 8 studies.
The team of doctors noted that the risk of developing at least one recurrent episode was significantly higher among patients younger than 50 years with an estimated cumulative risk of 30% compared with 17% in older patients.
|The cumulative risk was 7% in younger vs 20% in older patients|
|Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology|
The risk of requiring surgery during hospitalization for a primary episode of diverticulitis was equal in both age groups and estimated at approximately 20%.
The researchers reported that patients younger than 50 years more frequently required urgent surgery during hospitalization for a subsequent recurrent episode.
The team found that the cumulative risk was 7% in younger, and 5% in patients older than 50 years.
Dr van de Wall's team commented, "Patients younger than 50 years only differ substantially in risk for recurrent disease from patients older than 50 years of age."
"Although the relative risk for requiring urgent surgery for recurrent disease was higher in younger patient, one should consider that the absolute risk difference is relatively small."