Red Meat Consumption Linked to Diverticulitis Risk in Men — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
January 10, 2017

Red Meat Consumption Linked to Diverticulitis Risk in Men

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

High intake of red meat is associated with increased risk for diverticulitis in men, according to a study in Gut.

Some 46,000 male health professionals without diverticular disease at baseline completed food-frequency questionnaires every 4 years from 1986 through 2012. During that time, roughly 760 cases of diverticulitis occurred.

Compared with men in the lowest quintile of red meat intake (1.2 servings/wk), those in the highest quintile (13.5/wk) had nearly a 60% increased risk for diverticulitis. In particular, risk increased 18% with each daily serving of red meat. Unprocessed red meat accounted for most of the association.

Replacing one serving of red meat per day with fish or poultry was associated with a 20% lower risk for diverticulitis.

The authors note that "chronic low-grade systemic inflammation may be an essential step" underlying the association between red meat consumption and diverticulitis.

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