Fast Five Quiz: Diverticulitis and Diverticulosis

B.S. Anand, MD


July 01, 2020

The cause of diverticulosis is unclear, but it has been associated with increased intraluminal pressure from constipation or increasing abdominal girth in obesity. The standard Western diet (high-fat, low-fiber) has a strong association with the incidence of diverticulosis. The low-fiber diet is thought to predispose a person to diverticulosis, owing to a slower fecal transit time and smaller stool weight.

Although some estimates originally suggested about 15%-20% of patients with diverticulosis develop diverticulitis, the numbers may be closer to 1%-4%. The incidence of diverticular disease increases with age and is present in more than 65% of individuals older than 85 years. The mean age at presentation appears to be about 60 years. In those younger than 50 years, diverticulitis is more common among men; a slight female preponderance exists between the ages of 50 and 70 years, and a marked female preponderance is noted in those older than 70 years.

Read more about the etiology and epidemiology of diverticular disease.


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