Eosinophilic esophagitis has become a major cause of upper gastrointestinal morbidity in children and adults.
However, there are few data on the nationwide prevalence of eosinophilic esophagitis.
Dr Evan Dellon and colleagues from North Carolina, USA estimated the prevalence of eosinophilic esophagitis in the United States.
The research team collected health insurance claims from a large database that represented the U.S. commercially insured population.
The team analyzed data from 2008 to 2011, identifying cases of eosinophilic esophagitis by using a previously validated definition, and calculated a period prevalence by using data from 2009 to 2011.
Eosinophilic esophagitis was defined as any instance of the International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision code 530.13.
|The estimated period prevalence of eosinophilic esophagitis was 57 per 100,000 persons|
|Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
The team calculated the prevalence of the code in the database and standardized the estimate to the U.S. population.
Of 35,575,388 individuals in this database, 16,405 had at least 1 code for eosinophilic esophagitis.
The mean age was 34 years, 65% were male, 56% had dysphagia, and 53% had a diagnostic code for at least 1 allergic condition.
Among 11,569,217 individuals with continuous insurance coverage between mid-2009 and mid-2011, 6513 had at least 1 code for eosinophilic esophagitis.
When standardized to the U.S. population, the estimated period prevalence of eosinophilic esophagitis was 57 per 100,000 persons, translating to approximately 152,152 cases in the U.S.
The team observed that prevalence peaked in men 35–39 years old, with a rate of 115 per 100,000 persons.
Dr Dellon's team concludes, "Despite its relatively recent description, eosinophilic esophagitis is frequently diagnosed in the United States, with an estimated prevalence of 57 per 100,000 persons."
"This estimate depends on the accuracy of the International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision code, but it could be an underestimate, because knowledge of the code and recognition of eosinophilic esophagitis are increasing."