Diverticular disease is one of the most common disorders amongst elderly people in Western societies. Early in the twentieth century it was believed to be extremely rare but now is known as a disease of the twentieth century. In contrast to Western countries, diverticular disease in developing countries appears to be less common. The prevalence of diverticular disease appears to increase with age and by the age of 50 years, 33% will exhibit signs of the disease. At 70 years, 50% will exhibit signs of the disease and by 80 years 66% can expect to show signs of the disease. However, fewer than 20% of sufferers will go on to develop severe complications.