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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Incidence of appendicitis during COVID-19 lockdown: A nationwide population-based study

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AIM: To investigate how a nationwide lockdown influences the incidence of appendicitis.

BACKGROUND: Communitive infectious diseases may play a role in the pathogenesis of appendicitis as indicated by a seasonal variation in the incidence rate. The spread of communitive infectious diseases has decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown; thus, we have an opportunity to study the incidence rate of appendicitis in an environment with less impact from common community infections.

METHODS: The study is a nationwide register-based cohort study of the entire Danish population of 5.8 million. The difference in the incidence of appendicitis in a population subjugated to a controlled lockdown with social distancing (study group) was compared to a population not subjugated to a controlled lockdown and social distancing (reference group).

RESULTS: The relative risk of appendicitis during the lockdown was 0.92 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.82-1.03, p = 0.131). The relative risk of complicated appendicitis during the lockdown was 0.68 (95% CI: 0.49-0.93, p = 0.02). The incidence of uncomplicated appendicitis was not significantly different during the national lockdown.

CONCLUSIONS: During the national lockdown of Denmark due to the COVID-19 pandemic the incidence of complicated appendicitis was reduced significantly compared to previous years, indicating that infectious disease might be a factor in the pathogenesis of appendicitis with complications.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04407117).

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian journal of surgery : SJS : official organ for the Finnish Surgical Society and the Scandinavian Surgical Society
Volume111
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)14574969221089387
ISSN1457-4969
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

    Research areas

  • Appendicitis/complications, COVID-19/epidemiology, Cohort Studies, Communicable Disease Control, Humans, Incidence, Pandemics

ID: 77660442