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Diet, ageing and genetic factors in the pathogenesis of diverticular disease

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Daniel Commane, Professor John Mathers


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Diverticular disease (DD) is an age-related disorder of the large bowel which may affect half of the population over the age of 65 in the UK. This high prevalence ranks it as one of the most common bowel disorders in western nations. The majority of patients remain asymptomatic but there are associated life-threatening co-morbidities, which, given the large numbers of people with DD, translates into a considerable number of deaths per annum. Despite this public health burden, relatively little seems to be known about either the mechanisms of development or causality. In the 1970s, a model of DD formulated the concept that diverticula occur as a consequence of pressure-induced damage to the colon wall amongst those with a low intake of dietary fiber. In this review, we have examined the evidence regarding the influence of ageing, diet, inflammation and genetics on DD development. We argue that the evidence supporting the barotrauma hypothesis is largely anecdotal. We have also identified several gaps in the knowledge base which need to be filled before we can complete a model for the etiology of diverticular disease. (C) 2009 The WJG Press and Baishideng. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Commane DM, Arasaradnam RP, Mills S, Mathers JC, Bradburn M

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: World Journal of Gastroenterology

Year: 2009

Volume: 15

Issue: 20

Pages: 2479-2488

ISSN (print): 1007-9327

ISSN (electronic): 1009-3079

Publisher: W J G PRESS


DOI: 10.3748/wjg.15.2479