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January 1960

Glomerulonephritis in Older Age Groups

Author Affiliations


From the Mallory Institute of Pathology, Boston City Hospital.; Mr. Nesson is a fourth-year student (M.D. degree received June, 1959), Boston University School of Medicine; his present address is Beth Israel Hospital, Boston. Dr. Robbins is Associate Director, Mallory Institute of Pathology, Boston City Hospital; Professor of Pathology, Boston University School of Medicine; Lecturer in Pathology, Tufts University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1960;105(1):23-32. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.00270130039005

Introduction  Glomerulonephritis is classically known as a disease of childhood. There is a widespread misconception that it rarely arises in adults. In the series reported by Ellis, 58% of his 173 cases of Type I glomerulonephritis had their onset before the age of 20 and 95% of the cases before 41 years of age.1 In that series there were no cases beginning after 60 years of age. Of his Type II cases, 70% were under 40 years of age. Keith 2 cited only one patient out of 50 over the age of 60 with glomerulonephritis, and Fishberg3 has reported that only once has he seen a primary attack in a patient over 60. According to Allen,4 70% of the cases of glomerulonephritis arise between the ages of 5 and 30. At least in part because of such writings, glomerulonephritis is rarely thought of as a possible cause