Healthier lifestyle could cut risk of diverticulitis in half

A study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that following an overall low-risk lifestyle could reduce the risk of diverticulitis by 50%. Elements of a low-risk lifestyle included reduced intake of red meat, increased intake of dietary fiber, vigorous exercise, a normal BMI and no history of smoking.
“Diverticulitis is actually a very common disorder and it’s really become apparent that we need to think of ways to prevent diverticulitis given that it affects so many people,” said the study’s senior author Dr. Andrew Chan, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

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, while 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 and 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 the review article in Reuters here. 

See the abstract in the American Journal of Gastroenterology here. 

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