History of Diverticulitis and Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease in Men: A Cohort Study

Idy Tam, Po Hong Liu, Wenjie Ma, Yin Cao, Manol Jovani, Kana Wu, Eric B. Rimm, Lisa L. Strate, Edward L. Giovannucci, Andrew T. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1337-1344
Number of pages8
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Cardiovascular disease prevention
  • Cardiovascular disease risk factors
  • Diverticulitis


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