Study Title:

Impact of age at appendectomy on development of type 2 diabetes: A population-based cohort study.

Study Abstract

Aim: Diabetes is a complex metabolic disease characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation in which genetic and environmental factors are involved. Growing evidence implicates that alterations of the gut microbiota potentially contribute to the emergence of metabolic diseases. The human appendix has more recently been recognized as a microbial reservoir for repopulating the gastrointestinal tract and an important part of the immune system. Thus, appendectomy may influence microbial ecology and immune function. This study investigated the association between appendectomy and type 2 diabetes risk.

Methods: We analyzed a cohort of 10954 patients who underwent appendectomy between 1998 and 2013 based on the Taiwan National Health Insurance Program database. A comparison cohort of 43815 persons without appendectomy was selected randomly and matched by sex, age, comorbidities, and index year. To ensure reliability of the results, a sensitivity analysis using a propensity score-matched study was performed. We observed the subsequent development of type 2 diabetes in both cohorts.

Results: Although the overall incidence of type 2 diabetes in the appendectomy patients was 7.9% higher than that in the non-appendectomy patients, it was not statistically significant (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.997-1.168) after the adjustment of confounding factors. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of type 2 diabetes was 1.347 for appendectomy patients < 30 years of age (95% CI, 1.009-1.798) compared to non-appendectomy patients. The incidence of type 2 diabetes was higher within 3 years of post-appendectomy follow-up than for non-appendectomy patients (HR, 2.017; 95% CI, 1.07-3.802). Age impacted the association between appendectomy and type 2 diabetes risk (Pinteraction = 0.002); in contrast, sex did not affect the association between appendectomy and type 2 diabetes risk (Pinteraction = 0.88).

Conclusions: Our study results suggest that appendectomy increases type 2 diabetes risk, particularly when performed prior to middle age.

Study Information

. PLoS One. 2018 Oct 16;13(10):e0205502. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205502. PMID: 30325958; PMCID: PMC6191136.

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