Age-specific appendicectomy rates for Ireland have recently been reported to be substantially higher than those for Scotland. We attempted to determine the reason for this difference. Records of 940 appendectomies performed in one urban and one rural centre in Ireland over a 12 month period were examined to establish the frequency of acute appendicitis. Appendicitis rates were derived from these data. Appendicectomy rates are higher in Ireland because the incidence of acute appendicitis is greater than in Scotland or England and Wales and are not the result of variations in medical practice.
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