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February 1970

Acute Appendicitis in the Aged Patient: Study of 300 Cases After the Age of 60

Author Affiliations

From the Second Surgical Clinic, University of Helsinki, Helsinki.

Arch Surg. 1970;100(2):140-143. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1970.01340200028006

Acute appendicitis is, above all, a disease of young persons, which causes the possibility of its occurrence in aged patients often to be overlooked. Delayed diagnosis of appendicitis is not infrequent in their case for this reason.

Every 15th human (7%) becomes affected with acute appendicitis at some time of life. After the age of 50, the risk of this disease is only 1:35 for women and 1:50 for men.

The manifestation of appendicitis in aged persons has some special features which may contribute to delayed diagnosis. On the other hand, rapid diagnosis of their appendicitis would be particularly desirable because in aged people concomitant, complicating diseases are not rare and their physiological reserves are often too small to tolerate any delay. It follows that early diagnosis of this disease in aged persons possesses great significance in regard to surgery, hospitalization, and occurrence of complications, as well as mortality.


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