We hypothesized that the rate of nonelective hospital admissions for diverticulitis conforms to seasonal variation.
Retrospective cohort analysis.
Patients admitted to hospitals in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a 20% sample of US community hospitals.
We identified patients with a nonelective admission or discharge for diverticulitis from January 1, 1997, through December 31, 2005, and determined the proportion of diverticulitis admissions (standardized to all inpatient admissions) for a particular admission month or discharge quarter. Next, we analyzed the potential effects of region, age, sex, and race on excess seasonal admissions for diverticulitis.
On average, total nonelective admissions for diverticulitis were lowest in February (23 744 admissions) and highest in August (29 733 admissions), a 25.2% increase in cases. Similarly, diverticulitis discharges increased by 14.3% during the third quarter compared with the first (P < .001). A significant seasonal pattern of diverticulitis admissions was identified that conformed to a major sinusoidal component (P < .001). The excess seasonal burden of nonelective diverticulitis admissions in the third quarter was noted across US census regions, age, sex, and race.
Hospitalization for diverticulitis adheres to a sinusoidal pattern, with more nonelective admissions occurring during the summer months. The excess summer burden of diverticulitis is noted across US census regions, age, sex, and race. A more thorough understanding of these trends may provide a mechanism to identify a potential trigger for diverticulitis.