[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 13, 1981

Diverticular Disease and Pelvic Phleboliths in Mayan Indians

Author Affiliations

Hospital General de Occidente Quezaltenango, Guatemala

JAMA. 1981;245(10):1026-1027. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310350016011

To the Editor.—  The prevalences of diverticular disease of the colon and pelvic phleboliths have been studied in a population of Mayan Indians in the western highlands of Guatemala in Central America. Both of these conditions have been related to diet and Western culture. Although the Mayan Indians intermarried with descendants from Spanish settlers, this community has been little influenced in diet or life-style by impact with Western culture.Although more than 200 barium enema examinations are performed annually, the Radiological Teaching Collection at the Hospital General de Occidente possesses only five examples of colonic diverticula collected over a ten-year period. A retrospective review of 100 barium enema films in adults showed only a single diverticulum in the transverse colon and none in the pelvic colon.The frequency of pelvic phleboliths was estimated in a prospective study of 132 consecutive patients having plain abdominal films, 69 male and 63 female,