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New research on diverticular disease in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Diverticulosis, a condition that develops when pouches form in the wall of the colon, is increasing in frequency. It affects the majority of those reaching the age of 80 a growing portion of the population and imposes a substantial burden on health-care resources, but curiously there is a lack of data and unanswered questions around this condition.

The December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association, fills a critical research gap in diverticulosis research. The following four studies offer new insight into this condition.

  • "Constipation and a Low-Fiber Diet Are Not Associated with Diverticulitis" by Anne F. Peery, et al., This cross-sectional, colonoscopy-based study challenges current beliefs by reporting that neither constipation nor a low-fiber diet is associated with an increased risk of diverticulosis.

  • "Increased Risk for Irritable Bowel Syndrome After Acute Diverticulitis" by Erica Cohen, et al., According to this research, patients with diverticulitis could be at risk for later development of IBS and functional bowel disorders. The California-based researchers propose calling this disorder postdiverticulitis IBS.

  • "Long-term Risk of Acute Diverticulitis Among Patients with Incidental Diverticulosis Found During Colonoscopy" by Kamyar Shahedi, et al., Based on a study of the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, only about 4 percent of patients with diverticulosis develop acute diverticulitis, contradicting the common belief that diverticulosis has a high rate of progression.

  • "Higher Serum Levels of Vitamin D Are Associated with a Reduced Risk of Diverticulitis" by Lillias H. Maguire, et al., This study finds that, among patients with diverticulosis, higher prediagnostic levels of vitamin D in the body are associated significantly with a lower risk of diverticulitis. These data indicate that vitamin D deficiency could be involved in the development of diverticulitis.


Contact: Rachel Steigerwald
American Gastroenterological Association

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