Dr Andrea Bollom and colleagues from Massachussetts, USA analyzed recent trends in emergency department visits for diverticulitis between 2006 and 2013.
Acute diverticulitis is a serious medical condition that frequently leads to emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and surgeries resulting in a significant health care burden.
Data were obtained from the National Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) records in which diverticulitis was the primary diagnosis in the emergency department between 2006 and 2013.
The NEDS collects data from more than 25 million visits in over 950 hospital emergency departments and is weighted to provide national estimates.
|The aggregate national cost of diverticulitis-related emergency department visits increased by 105%|
|Digestive Diseases & Sciences|
The team's findings reflected patient and hospital characteristics such as demographics, geographical region, and total charges for emergency department and inpatient stays.
Between 2006 and 2013, the researchers found that the rate of diverticulitis-related emergency department visits increased by 27% from 90 to 114 visits per 100,000 population.
The researchers observed that the aggregate national cost of diverticulitis-related emergency department visits increased by 105%, from approximately $822 million in 2006 to over $1.6 billion in 2013.
Cost data were adjusted for inflation and reported in 2015 dollars.
The team observed that the percentage of individuals admitted to the same hospital from the emergency department decreased from 58% to 47% from 2006 to 2013, respectively, while the rate of bowel surgeries per 100,000 emergency department visits for diverticulitis decreased by 34% from 2006 to 2013.
Dr Bollom's team comments, "The number of emergency department visits due to diverticulitis and associated costs continued to rise between 2006 and 2013, while the rate of bowel surgeries and inpatient admissions through the emergency department for diverticulitis decreased."