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January 28, 1939

Current Comment

JAMA. 1939;112(4):332. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800040050016

INCIDENCE OF TONSILLECTOMY  Glover1 has recently estimated that 200,000 tonsillectomies are performed annually in England and Wales. After the war, during which there was a lull in the number of tonsillectomies, a rapid rise led to a peak in 1931. In that year Newman strongly urged a more conservative attitude toward this operation. Other similar reports also exerted a definite influence on medical opinion. Since 1935, after a considerable drop, the rate has been rising once more. The operation is more frequent in boys than in girls; the highest age incidence is in the period 5 to 7 years. This high incidence between 5 and 7 is, Glover believes, due to many operations at this age being performed on tonsils for enlargements which are either physiologic—that is, associated with great changes in development and in the oral cavity—or immunologic and in response to the unaccustomed herd infections of the