Diverticulosis Much Less Risky Than Previously Thought
Los Angeles, CA - People who have diverticulosis, or pouches in the lining of the colon, often worry that they will eventually develop the painful and sometimes serious condition of diverticulitis, as previous research has shown that one in four of those with the condition will.
Now, in a 15-year study that contradicts the common wisdom on rate of progression from diverticulosis to diverticulitis, UCLA researchers show that the risk is significantly lower than previously thought, about 1 percent over seven years. Researchers also found that those diagnosed with diverticulosis at a younger age are more likely to progress to diverticulitis than those diagnosed at an older age.
The study will help inform patients with diverticulosis – particularly those diagnosed at a younger age - and their physicians about the risks of developing acute diverticulitis, said study senior author Dr. Brennan Spiegel, an associate professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
“These colon pouches are commonly detected during colonoscopy, and patients wonder if they are important and what to do with them,” Spiegel said. “In short, diverticulosis is not something to worry much about. Chances are low that something will happen.”
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