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Adherence to a low-risk lifestyle is associated with reduced incidence of diverticulitis (2018-01-15)

The researchers analyzed data on more than 51,000 men who were between the ages of 40 and 75 in 1986 when they began participating in the Health Professionals Follow Up Study. More than 90 percent of the men were followed through the end of December 2012.

At the start of the study, participants answered questions about their lifestyles and medical histories, then every two years after that, they answered follow-up questionnaires.

The researchers examined the association between lifestyle factors (red meat, dietary fiber intake, vigorous physical activity, body mass index (BMI), and smoking) and risk of diverticulitis among participants in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.
They documented 907 incident cases of diverticulitis.

High intake of red meat, low intake of dietary fiber, low vigorous physical activity, high BMI, and smoking were independently associated with increased risks of diverticulitis.

Low-risk lifestyle was defined as average red meat intake <51?g per day, dietary fiber intake of at least 23 grams (0.8 ounce) per day, two or more hours of vigorous physical activity per week, normal BMI and being a never-smoker.

Compared with men who met none of the low-risk lifestyle criteria, those with one low-risk lifestyle factor were 29 percent less likely to have diverticulitis.

Men with two low-risk factors were 34 percent less likely to have the condition.

Men with three or four low-risk factors had about half the risk of diverticulitis.

Men with all five low-risk factors had about 70 percent lower risk.

If everyone followed an overall low-risk lifestyle, the study team writes, 50 percent of diverticulitis cases could be averted.

See also
The incidence of diverticulitis has increased by 50% in the U.S. (2015-10-16)

For more information
The American Journal of Gastroenterology
Adherence to a Healthy Lifestyle is Associated With a Lower Risk of Diverticulitis among Men

Harvard Medical School - Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA