In spite of its long history, fistula-in-ano is generally considered to be relatively uncommon.
Nevertheless, no comprehensive analysis of its incidence in developed countries is available.
Dr Carlo Zanotti and colleagues from Spain determined the actual incidence of fistula-in-ano based on the study of incidence in 4 countries of the European Union.
The research team performed a search of hospital inpatient databases in 5 different countries.
The researchers obtained valid data from four European countries, namely, England, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
|The incidence ranged from 1 to 2 per 10,000 a year|
|International Journal of Colorectal Diseases|
The incidence of fistula-in-ano varied among the different populations in the European Union.
In the 4 countries examined, the incidence ranged from 1 per 10,000 a year in Spain to 2 per 10,000 a year in Italy.
A statistical comparison of rates from the different countries studied gives a confidence interval from 1 up to 3.
The population that the researchers studied represents almost 51% of the total population of the European Union.
Dr Zanotti's team comments, "This study attempts to determine the actual incidence of fistula-in-ano in the European Community."
"This was previously uncertain despite its major negative effects on quality of life, and the high cost of treatment."
"Our findings indicate that the incidence of fistula-in-ano in the 4 countries of the European Union studied is significantly higher than that in the only previously published report of the incidence of fistula-in-ano in Europe."
"Nevertheless, our findings confirm the general perception that fistula-in-ano is a relatively uncommon disease."