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
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
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
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.
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