Background Patients with Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG) used to be ca. 40 years old at diagnosis in the 1950s and 1960s. Since then, WG-patients have been diagnosed at a more advanced age, nowadays around 50-60 years. This trend has been thought be due to changes in population and proportions of age groups.
Objectives To compare the incidence of WG in different age groups in four 5-year periods in 1981-2000.
Methods Information on patient characteristics and data on disease characteristics and treatment details were collected in hospital files. All 492 patients diagnosed with in Finland in 1981-2000 were divided into eight age groups and the 20-year time divided into four 5-year periods. The incidence of WG was calculated for each age group in each 5-year period.
Results The overall incidence of WG increased throughout the study period. The increase was very mild in age groups under 35 years, but increased markedly in older groups, particularly in the age group 65-74 years. It’s incidence increased from 2.18/million/year up to 24.75/million/year.
Conclusions Altered age distribution in population does not explain the altered age of WG patients at diagnosis. There must be environmental factors that alter immunologic reactions e.g. better management of infections, vaccinations, better general condition of people which postpones disease admission, etc.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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