Background: Diverticulitis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are two highly prevalent disorders sharing common risk factors which are hypothesized to have an inflammatory basis. Aims: To examine the association between history of diverticulitis and risk of incident CVD. Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study of 43,904 men aged 40 to 75 years without a history of CVD (fatal or nonfatal myocardial infarction and stroke) at enrollment who were followed up from 1986 to 2012 in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Lifestyle factors, dietary intake, and disease information were self-reported biennially or quadrennially. Incident diverticulitis and CVD were confirmed by review of medical records. We used Cox proportional hazard models to calculate age- and multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of incident CVD. We conducted a stratified analysis according to the presence or absence of CVD risk factors (smoking, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes). Results: We identified 3848 incident cases of CVD during 856,319 person-years of follow-up. Men with diverticulitis had higher incidence of CVD (727 cases per 100,000 person-years) compared to men without diverticulitis [446 cases per 100,000 person-years, multivariate HR of 1.35 (95% CI 1.07–1.70)]. The association of diverticulitis and subsequent CVD appeared more evident among men without known CVD risk factors (HR 4.06, 95% CI 2.04–8.08) compared to those with one or more CVD risk factors (HR 1.27, 95% CI 0.98–1.63). Conclusions: Diverticulitis may be an independent risk factor of incident CVD, suggesting possible common etiopathogenic mechanisms. Diagnosis of diverticulitis underscores the importance of preventive measures to reduce future CVD.
- Cardiovascular disease prevention
- Cardiovascular disease risk factors