The cause of diverticulosis and diverticular disease is unknown, but people are more likely to develop diverticulosis as they age. Dr. Malone, can you tell us about other risk factors for these conditions?
Absolutely, Dr. Mansfield. Some evidence suggests that abnormal, intermittent high pressure in the colon due to muscle spasm, constipation, or straining with stool may contribute to the formation of diverticula.
Family history may also increase the risk of developing diverticulosis. A person with a first-degree relative with diverticulosis is more likely to develop the condition than someone who has no family history of the disease.
Among people over 50, women are more likely to develop diverticulitis, but men are more likely to develop it among people younger than 50.