Diverticulitis is a common disease with a substantial clinical and economic burden.
Besides dietary fibre, the role of other foods in the prevention of diverticulitis is under-explored.
Dr Andrew Chan
and colleagues of Massachusetts, USA prospectively examined the association between consumption of meat with risk of incident diverticulitis among 46,461 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.
During 651,970 person-years of follow-up, the research team documented 764 cases of incident diverticulitis.
Compared with men in the lowest quintile of total red meat consumption, men in the highest quintile had a multivariable relative risks of 1.58.
|Substitution of fish for one serving of unprocessed red meat
per day was associated with a decrease in diverticulitis risk
The increase in risk was non-linear, plateauing after 6 servings per week.
The researchers found the association was stronger for unprocessed red meat than for processed red meat.
Higher consumption of poultry or fish was not associated with risk of diverticulitis.
However, the substitution of poultry or fish for one serving of unprocessed red meat per day was associated with a decrease in risk of diverticulitis.
Dr Chan's team summarises, "Red meat intake, particularly unprocessed red meat, was associated with an increased risk of diverticulitis."
"The findings provide practical dietary guidance for patients at risk of diverticulitis."