Research Article

Acute appendicitis in nine British towns.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 283 doi: (Published 24 October 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;283:1083
  1. D J Barker,
  2. A Liggins


    The incidence of acute appendicitis was compared among residents in nine towns in England and Wales, the towns having been chosen so that three were in the north, three in the central latitude band, and three in the south. Each group of three towns comprised one with "better,' one with "intermediate,' and one with "worse' socioeconomic conditions. The data were derived from hospital records for the years 1974-7. Hospital discharge rates for acute appendicitis were higher in the three northern towns in both sexes and all age groups. There was no consistent variation with the socioeconomic state of the towns. The distribution of appendicitis in the nine towns differed from that of other "diseases of Western civilisation' and so weighs against the hypothesis of similar dietary influences in the aetiology of acute appendicitis and these other diseases. These findings are being followed up by dietary surveys in the towns.