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During recent months, I have seen a large number of patients for removal of plaques of xanthelasma palpebrarum. The absence of specific methods of treatment and lack of general knowledge of the condition prompted a series of investigations which are still in progress. The present communication deals with the comparative incidence of the lesions in Jews and non-Jews of the same age groups, and some observations regarding cholesterol levels.
It was apparent from the start that the only constant observation was the significantly higher rate of occurrence of xanthelasma in the middle aged and elderly as compared to younger age groups. There is a general impression as to its higher incidence in Jews, but I find no statistical study recorded.
I first examined 347 elderly patients hospitalized in the chronic illness division of the Baltimore City Hospitals. Of these, only 14 showed xanthelasma plaques on one or both upper lids.