Background: A high intake of dietary fibre has been associated with a reduced risk of diverticular disease in several studies; however, the dose-response relationship between fibre intake and diverticular disease risk has varied, and the available studies have not been summarised in a meta-analysis. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies to clarify the association between dietary fibre intake, fibre subtypes, and the risk of diverticular disease.
Methods: PubMed and Embase databases were searched up to August 9th 2018. Summary relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a random-effects model and nonlinear associations were modelled using fractional polynomial models.
Results: Five prospective cohort studies with 19,282 cases and 865,829 participants were included in the analysis of dietary fibre and diverticular disease risk. The summary RR was 0.74 (95% CI 0.71-0.78, I2 = 0%) per 10 g/day. There was no evidence of a nonlinear association between dietary fibre intake and diverticular disease risk, pnonlinearity = 0.35, and there was a 23%, 41% and 58% reduction in risk for an intake of 20, 30, and 40 g/day, respectively, compared to 7.5 g/day. There was no evidence of publication bias with Egger's test, p = 0.58 and the association persisted in subgroup and sensitivity analyses. The summary RR per 10 g/day was 0.74 (95% CI 0.67-0.81, I2 = 60%, n = 4) for cereal fibre, 0.56 (95% CI 0.37-0.84, I2 = 73%, n = 2) for fruit fibre, and 0.80 (95% CI 0.45-1.44, I2 = 87%, n = 2) for vegetable fibre.
Conclusions: These results suggest that a high fibre intake may reduce the risk of diverticular disease and individuals consuming 30 g of fibre per day have a 41% reduction in risk compared to persons with a low fibre intake. Further studies are needed on fibre types and risk of diverticular disease and diverticulitis.
Keywords: Diverticular disease; Fibre; Meta-analysis; Systematic review.