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Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2000 May;51(3):153-7.

Fiber intake and childhood appendicitis.

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  • 11st Department of Paediatrics of Athens University, Greece.


In order to investigate the possible role of fiber in the etiology of acute appendicitis, 203 consecutive appendectomized children with histologically proved appendicitis and 1922 controls were studied by the diet history method. Statistics were performed by multivariate analysis of variance, discriminant analysis and chi 2. Appendectomized children had statistically significant lower mean daily intake of fiber (17.4 g versus 20.4 g, P < 0.001) including all fiber fractions: cellulose, uronic acid, pentose, exose and lignin. No statistical difference was found for energy, protein, carbohydrate and fat intake. Discriminant analysis proved that only cellulose and exose are independently correlated to appendicitis and lower fiber intake is thought to be the cause in 70% of the cases. Recurrent abdominal pain, chronic constipation and positive family history of appendectomy were more frequent in appendectomized children (P < 0.001). This study gives evidence that low fiber intake could play an important role in the pathogenesis of appendicitis.

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