A study has been made of the influence of age and sex on the incidence of cases of appendicitis and of fatal appendicitis in children and young adults. Appendicitis is uncommon in children under the age of 5, but the proportion of cases complicated by peritonitis is large, and the death rate in the population of this age is relatively high. Appendicitis is very common in adolescents, but here the proportion of cases complicated by peritonitis is small. However, because of the frequency of the condition, the death rate in the general population of this age is high, with a maximum at about the age of 15 years.
These findings are compatible with the suggestion that the appendix during the 'teens is particularly liable to obstruct and hence to become inflamed because of the large proportion of lymphoid tissue which it contains.
Inflammation of the appendix is more common in males than in females, and this male excess is greater in infants and pre-school children than it is in children of school age.
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