Diverticular disease of the colon and concomitant abnormalities in patients undergoing endoscopic evaluation of the large bowel

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ObjectiveTo study the prevalence of diverticula and presence of concomitant pathology in consecutive patients undergoing endoscopic examination of the colon.MethodsA cross-sectional analysis of the endoscopy reports of all patients sent for endoscopic evaluation of the colon in a period of 8.5 years.ResultsA total of 9086 endoscopies were performed. Of these 2259 (24.7%) were undertaken for follow-up. Diverticula were seen in 1849 patients (27%) (739 male, 1110 female, mean age 69 year). In 4978 patients (73%)(2162 male, 2816 female, mean age 52 year) no diverticula were seen, of these 2303 (46%) had no abnormalities in their colon. Patients with diverticula were significantly older, 69 vs 46.7 years (P < 0.001). No difference was present in gender. Colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease were significantly more common in patients without diverticula, while polyps were more often seen in patient with diverticula. Patients with diverticula had a significantly lower incidence of colorectal cancer. In addition, the number of cancers located proximal to the splenic flexure was statistically higher in the group of patients presenting with diverticula (P < 0.001).ConclusionsThe overall prevalence of diverticular disease in patients undergoing endoscopy is 27%, and increases with age. Patients with diverticulosis have significantly lower incidence of colorectal cancer and if cancer is detected then it is more common proximal to the splenic flexure.

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