Hospital admissions for pelvic inflammatory disease increased by 8.7% a year among women aged 15-44 in England and Wales between 1966 and 1976. Acute disease was three times as frequent as chronic disease, although admissions for the chronic condition are increasing more rapidly than for the acute. Peak incidence of acute disease is at ages 20-24 and of chronic disease at ages 25-29. Divorced women had the highest rates of both forms. Single women had higher rates of acute disease than married women but the latter had higher admission rates for chronic disease. In general, the pattern of acute disease follows that of sexually transmitted disease. The pattern of chronic disease in turn reflects the long-term effects of acute disease. The increase in chronic disease is of concern because hospital discharge rates are increasing more rapidly than for acute disease, and in 1976 one in every eight cases mentioned infertility in association with the disease.
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