Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the lower rectum and anus. They are among the most common causes of anorectal complaints, and only a small proportion of those people seek therapy. This blog will summarize the current epidemiology of hemorrhoids.
The prevalence of hemorrhoids is not well documented due to the lack of clinical research on this topic. There has been a scarcity of literature reporting on the epidemiology of hemorrhoids.
It is estimated that the overall prevalence of symptomatic hemorrhoids in the general population is about 4.4%, but the true prevalence of hemorrhoids, including asymptomatic hemorrhoids should be much higher than 4.4%.
According to a study done in a hemorrhoid center, estimates suggest that around half of Americans develop hemorrhoids by time they are 50. The number of people in the US suffering from symptomatic hemorrhoids is estimated to be around 10 million, with 1 million new cases occurring each year. Up to one third of those 10 million people with hemorrhoids seek medical treatment.
It is noticed that the number of people visiting hospitals for hemorrhoidectomies has fallen. A peak of 117 hemorrhoidectomies per 100,000 people was reached in 1974; this rate declined to 37 hemorrhoidectomies per 100,000 people in 1987, and the number should be much lower now. Office treatment of hemorrhoids with non-invasive methods account for some of this decline.
There is no known sex predilection, although men seem to be more likely to seek medical attention. However, the physiological changes that occur during pregnancy also increase the likelihood that hemorrhoids will become symptomatic and may increase the incidence of thrombosis in females.
Caucasians are more frequently present with hemorrhoidal disease and seek treatment more often than other races.
Some individuals are more genetically predisposed to hemorrhoids than others. But there are no indicative factors that can be used to identify this group of patients.
The prevalence of hemorrhoids increases as people age. In most cases, hemorrhoids develop in individuals who are over 30 years old, with a peak in persons aged 45-65 years, although they can develop at any age. External hemorrhoids tend to occur more commonly in younger adults.
People who live in rural areas and those with a higher socioeconomic status appear to be more likely to develop hemorrhoids.