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Digestion. 1982;24(1):42-6.

Diverticular disease in urban Africans in South Africa.


At Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa, during a 3-year period diverticular disease was diagnosed in 42 Black patients (16 men, 26 women), from an urban population approaching 1,5 million. Patients presented mainly with rectal bleeding, abdominal mass or pain. Of average age 62 years, all were among the more privileged. The persisting very low frequency of the disease, which is in consonance with low frequencies of other bowel diseases (appendicitis, ulcerative colitis, colon cancer), is deemed valid. The mean daily dietary fibre intake, 26.5 +/- 8.5 g, was higher than that of local Whites, 22.4 +/- 6.0 g, but significantly less than that of a sex-age matched urban Black control group, 32.5 +/- 11.4 g. Although a measure of westernization of diet has obviously occurred, its extent, also the period of exposure, would seem to have been insufficient to have evoked significant rises in the occurrence of diverticular disease.

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