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December 1992

The Incidence and Prevalence of Dermatitis Herpetiformis in Utah

Author Affiliations

From the Emergency Department, US Air Force Hospital Hill, Hill Air Force Base, Utah (Dr Smith); Dermatology Section, Veterans Administration Hospital (Ms Tulloch and Drs Meyer and Zone) and Division of Dermatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine (Drs Meyer and Zone), Salt Lake City.

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(12):1608-1610. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.04530010046006

• Background and Design.  —The incidence and prevalence of dermatitis herpetiformis has never been formally evaluated in any area of the United States. Several northern European studies have shown prevalence rates ranging from 1.2 per 100 000 to 39.2 per 100 000. The present study was performed to evaluate the incidence and prevalence of dermatitis herpetiformis in Utah.Information from 240 patients diagnosed with dermatitis herpetiformis was compiled from hospital records throughout Utah, as well as the sole private dermatopathologist in the state, and from the university referral center of the state. Criteria for inclusion in the study were a clinical diagnosis of dermatitis herpetiformis plus granular deposition of IgA in dermal papillae by direct immunofluorescence of uninvolved skin, or histopathologic findings consistent with the disease. Clinical diagnosis and response to dapsone alone was considered insufficient for inclusion in the study. On the basis of these criteria, as well as exclusion of non-Utah resident 188 of the original 240 patients qualified for the study.

Results.  —The prevalence of dermatitis herpetiformis Utah in 1987 was 11.2 per 100 000. The mean incidence for [ill] years 1978 through 1987 was 0.98 per 100 000 per year. [ill] mean age at onset of symptoms for male patients was 40 years, and that for female patients was 36.2 years. The [ill] female ratio was 1.44:1.

Conclusions.  —This represents the first evaluation of the [ill] cidence and prevalence of dermatitis herpetiformis in [ill] United States. These results are similar to those of the [ill] ous studies, probably because of Utah's largely northern [ill] ropean ancestry. This population base, plus a much [ill] than average black and Oriental population, is likely to [ill] produced a higher incidence and prevalence in Utah [ill] would be seen in other areas of the United States.

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