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Articles » Digestive Diseases Statistics: NIDDK

Digestive Diseases Statistics: NIDDK

Article title: Digestive Diseases Statistics: NIDDK

Conditions: Digestive Diseases, Abdominal Wall Hernia, Chronic Liver Disease, Constipation, Diverticular Disease, Gallstones, Gastritis, Chronic NUD, Acute NUD, Nonulcer Dyspepsia, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Hemorrhoids, Infectious Diarrhea, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn's, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Lactose Intolerance, Pancreatitis, Acute Pancreatitis, Chronic Pancreatitis, Peptic Ulcer, Viral Hepatitis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D, Liver Transplants, gastroenterologist

Source: NIDDK

All Digestive Diseases

Prevalence: 60 to 70 million people affected by all digestive diseases (1985)
Mortality: 191,000, including deaths from cancer (1985)
Hospitalizations: 10 million (13 percent of all hospitalizations) (1985)
Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures: 6 million (14 percent of all procedures) (1987)
Physician office visits: 50 million (1985)
Disability: 1.4 million people (1987)
$107 billion (1992)
$87 billion direct medical costs
$20 billion indirect costs (e.g., disability and mortality)

Specific Diseases

Abdominal Wall Hernia
Incidence: 800,000 new cases, including 500,000 inguinal hernias (1985)
Prevalence: 4.5 million people (1988-90)
Hospitalizations: 640,000 (1980)
Physician office visits: 2 to 3 million (1989-90)
Prescriptions: 184,000 (1989-90)
Disability: 550,000 people (1983-87)

Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis
Prevalence: 400,000 people (1976-80)
Mortality: 26,050 deaths (1987)
Hospitalizations: 300,000 (1987)
Physician office visits: 1 million (1985)
Disability: 112,000 people (1983-87)

Prevalence: 4.4 million people (1983-87)
Mortality:29 deaths (1982-85)
Hospitalizations: 100,000 (1983-87)
Physician office visits: 2 million (1985)
Prescriptions: 1 million (1985)
Disability: 13,000 people (1983-87)

Diverticular Disease
Incidence: 300,000 new cases (1987)
Prevalence: 2 million people (1983-87)
Mortality: 3,000 deaths (1985)
Hospitalizations: 440,000 (1987)
Physician office visits: 2 million (1987)
Disability: 112,000 people (1983-87)

Prevalence: 16 to 22 million people (1976-87)
Mortality: 2,975 (1985)
Hospitalizations: 800,000 (1987)
Physician office visits: 600,000 to 700,000 (1985)
Prescriptions: 195,000 (1985)
Surgical procedures: 500,000 cholecystectomies (1987)
Disability: 48,000 people (1983-87)

Gastritis and Nonulcer Dyspepsia (NUD)
Gastritis: 313,000 new cases (1975)
Chronic NUD: 444,000 new cases (1975)
Acute NUD: 8.2 million new cases (1988)

Gastritis: 2.7 million people (1988)
NUD: 5.8 million people (1988)

Gastritis: 703 (1980's)
NUD: 49 (1980's)

Gastritis: 600 (1980's)
NUD: 65,000 (1980's)

Physician office visits:
Gastritis: 3 million (1980's)
NUD: 800,000 (1980's)

Gastritis: 2 million (1985)
NUD: 649,000 (1985)

Gastritis: 34,000 people (1983-87)
Chronic NUD: 42,000 people (1983-87)

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Related Esophageal Disorders
Prevalence: 3 to 7 percent of U.S. population (1985)
Mortality: 1,000 deaths (1984-88)
Hospitalizations: 1 million (1985)
Physician office visits: 4 to 5 million (1985)

Hemorrhoids (1983-87)
Incidence: 1 million new cases
Prevalence: 10.4 million people
Mortality: 17 deaths
Hospitalizations: 316,000
Physician office visits: 3.5 million
Prescriptions: 1.5 million
Disability: 52,000 people

Infectious Diarrhea
Incidence: 99 million new cases (1980)
Mortality: 3,100 deaths (1985)
Hospitalizations: 462,000 to 728,000 (1987)
Physician office visits: 8 to 12 million (1985)
Prescriptions: 5 to 8 million (1985)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease(1987)
Incidence: 2 to 6 new cases per 100,000 people
Prevalence: 300,000 to 500,000 people
Mortality: Fewer than 1,000 deaths
Hospitalizations: 100,000 (64 percent for Crohn's disease)
Physician office visits: 700,000
Disability: 119,000 people (1983-87)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Prevalence: 5 million people (1987)
Hospitalizations: 34,000 (1987)
Physician office visits: 3.5 million (1987)
Prescriptions: 2.2 million (1985)
Disability: 400,000 people (1983-87)

Lactose Intolerance [2]
Prevalence: 30 to 50 million people (1994)

Incidence: Acute: 17 new cases per 100,000 people (1976-88)
Mortality: 2,700 deaths (1985)
Acute: 125,000 (1987)
Chronic: 20,000 (1987)
Physician office visits:
Acute: 911,000 (1987)
Chronic: 122,000 (1987)

Peptic Ulcer
Prevalence: 5 million people (1987)
Mortality: 6,500 deaths (1987)
Hospitalizations: 630,000 (1987)
Physician office visits: 3 to 5 million (1985)
Prescriptions: 2 million (1985)
Disability: 401,000 people (1983-87)

Viral Hepatitis
Hepatitis A: 32,000 new cases (1992)
Hepatitis B: 200,000 to 300,000 new cases (1990)
Hepatitis C: 150,000 new cases (1991)
Hepatitis D: 70,000 new cases (1990)
Hepatitis A: 32 to 38 percent of U.S. population that have any history of disease (1991)
Hepatitis B: 4 percent of U.S. population that have any history of disease (1990)
Hepatitis C and D: Not determined
Mortality: Fewer than 1,000 deaths (1985)
Hospitalizations: 33,000 (1987)
Physician office visits: 500,000 (1985)

Additional Data

Liver Transplants[3]: 3,300 transplants performed (1993)

Number of gastroenterologists in the United States [4]: 7,493 (1990)


1 Unless noted, the data in this fact sheet are from:

Everhart, J. E. (Ed.). (1994). Digestive diseases in the United States: Epidemiology and impact. (NIH Publication No. 94-1447). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

The book answers hundreds of questions about the scope and impact of the major infectious, chronic, and malignant digestive diseases. National and special-population-based data on specific digestive diseases provide information about the prevalence, incidence, medical care, disability, mortality, and research needs. The data were compiled primarily from the surveys of the National Center for Health Statistics, supplemented by other Federal agencies and private sources.

The book is available for $15 from the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse at the address listed below. Please make checks payable to NDDIC.

2 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health.

3 United Network for Organ Sharing Scientific Registry.

4 American Medical Association. (1992). Physician characteristics and distribution in the United States (1992 ed., p. 20). Chicago, IL: American Medical Association.


Data for digestive diseases as a group and for specific diseases are provided in various categories. For some diseases, data do not exist in all categories. Following are definitions of the categories as used in this fact sheet:

Disability: The number of people in a year whose ability to perform major daily activities such as working, housekeeping, and going to school is limited and reduced over long periods because of a disease.

Hospitalizations: The number of hospitalizations for a disease in a year.

Incidence: The number of new cases of a disease in the U.S. population in a year.

Mortality:The number of deaths resulting from the disease listed as the underlying or primary cause in a year.

Physician office visits:The number of outpatient visits to office-based physicians for a disease in a year.

Prescriptions: The number of prescriptions written annually for medications to treat a specific disease.

Prevalence: The number of people in the United States affected by a disease or diseases in a year.

Procedures: The number of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures performed annually in a hospital setting.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892-3570

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Established in 1980, the clearinghouse provides information about digestive diseases to people with digestive disorders and to their families, health care professionals, and the public. NDDIC answers inquiries; develops, reviews, and distributes publications; and works closely with professional and patient organizations and Government agencies to coordinate resources about digestive diseases.

Publications produced by the clearinghouse are reviewed carefully for scientific accuracy, content, and readability.

This e-text is not copyrighted. The clearinghouse urges users of this e-pub to duplicate and distribute as many copies as desired.

NIH Publication No. 99-3873
February 1995

e-text updated: August 1999


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