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Occurrence

There are about 100 million visits to emergency departments every year in the United States. Almost 6 million of these visits are due to stomach/abdominal pain.

Appendicitis is the most common acute surgical condition of the abdomen. More than 250,000 cases occur every year. Appendicitis occurs in 7% of the US population, with an incidence of 1.1 cases per 1000 people per year.

The overall lifetime occurrence is approximately 25% in women and 12% in men.

Appendicitis affects 80,000 children per year in the United States.

Anyone can develop appendicitis, but it most often strikes people between the ages of 10 and 30. Although rare, cases of neonatal and even prenatal appendicitis have been reported.

Overall mortality rate is 0.2% to 0.8%. The fatality rate of appendicitis increases to 5% or higher when perforation occurs.

Incidence of appendicitis is lower in cultures with a higher intake of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is thought to decrease the viscosity of feces, decrease bowel transit time, and discourage formation of fecaliths, which predispose individuals to obstructions of the appendiceal lumen.