Whipple´s disease is rare. As a consequece, information about its epidemiology is fairly limited. Nevertheless, some data are available.
A regional study
in Western Switzerland detected a total of 11 cases, diagnosed during 1971 and 1983 at an institute of pathology, serving a population of approximately 2 millions.( 1 ) From these crude data, an incidence of 0,4 /
million / year can be estimated.
A metaanalysis of all patients published in the world literature from 1907 until 1986, either in case reports or series, was performed. Data from a total of 619 published, along
with 79 unpublished patients were evaluated. A striking predominance of male patients was noted (86%; vs. 14% females). The mean age at the time of diagnosis was 49.1 yrs in men, and 51.0 yrs in women.( 2 )
Virtually all patients (98%) were white caucasian. Concerning occupation, farming trades were most prevalent among patients (22%).( 2 )
A national study from Germany recruited a total of 110 patients
diagnosed at five referral centers of GI pathology during time periods ranging from 1965 to 1995.( 3 ) Demographic features were found to have changed during these decades. ( 3 ) (to read the abstract: click the buttom “Germany”)
Nowadays patients are diagnosed at a mean age of 57 years, and up to 30% are females. (click to the buttom: “Demography”)