HealthDay News — Colonic diverticular disease appears to be associated with increased risk of dementia in a population from Taiwan, according to a study published online March 31 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Yen-Chun Peng, MD, from the Taichung Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, and colleagues used data from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database to examine the potential increased risk for dementia in colonic diverticular disease. Data were included for 66 377 sex-, age-, and index year-matched patients with colonic diverticular disease and 265 508 control patients without colonic diverticular disease. Incident cases of dementia were identified from 2000 to 2011.

The researchers identified 1057 dementia cases in the diverticular disease cohort during 315 171 person-years of follow-up. The overall incidence rate of dementia was 3.35 per 1000 person-years in the diverticular disease cohort versus 2.43 per 1000 person-years in the control group (P < 0.001). After adjustment for age, sex, and comorbidities, the adjusted hazard ratio for dementia was 1.24 for colonic diverticular disease patients.

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“We demonstrated that diverticular disease and associated comorbidities are risk factors, with joint effects, for dementia,” the authors wrote. “Dementia prevention may be possible by controlling risk factors at the population level. Such risk factors may include diverticular disease and comorbidities.”


Peng Y, Lin C, Yeh H, Tung C, Chang C, Kao C. Diverticular disease and additional comorbidities associated with increased risk of dementia. J Gastroen Hepatol. 2016; doi:10.1111/jgh.13389.