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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Mar 15;23(6):797-805.

Diverticular disease and migration--the influence of acculturation to a Western lifestyle on diverticular disease.

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1
Department of Surgery, Karolinska Institutet at Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. fredrik.hjern@ds.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Diverticular disease of the colon is more common in the Western world, compared with non-Western countries.

AIM:

To investigate the risk of diverticular disease in immigrants of diverse ethnicity and in different phases of acculturation.

METHODS:

Socio-demographic indicators and the risk of diverticular disease were investigated. The study population was a prospectively followed national cohort of 4 million residents born between 1925 and 1965. Risk ratios (RRs) of hospital admissions and deaths because of diverticular disease and acute diverticulitis from 1991 through 2000 were calculated.

RESULTS:

The risk of hospital admission because of diverticular disease, after adjustment for age, sex and socio-economic indicators, was lower in non-Western immigrants (RRs = 0.5-0.7) compared with natives and the risk increased with time after the settlement. Women of all origins had a higher risk compared with men (RR = 1.5). This sex-difference increased with age (P < 0.001). Socio-economic status, residency or housing situation were not risk factors.

CONCLUSION:

This population-based study found that immigrants from non-Westernized countries had lower relative risks for hospitalization because of diverticular disease than natives, but the risk increased during a relatively short period of time after settlement. Diverticular disease of the colon appears to be an acquired disorder and acculturation to a Western lifestyle has an impact on the risk.

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