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J Am Board Fam Pract. 1991 Nov-Dec;4(6):389-94.

Hemorrhoids: associated pathologic conditions in a family practice population.

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Department of Family Medicine, State University of New York, Stony Brook 11794-8461.



Hemorrhoidal disease is an affliction that in referral populations coexists with other significant anorectal diseases. Published texts recommend aggressive procedures to diagnose associated pathologic conditions and as an aid for planning the extirpation of these diseases. Procrastination in management is said to be characteristic of both patient and primary care physician. The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether patients with hemorrhoids in the general population are truly at high risk for significant anorectal disease.


Charts of 173 patients with hemorrhoids from a nonselected population were reviewed for treatment management, associated anorectal disease, and sequelae.


A small subpopulation of persons aged more than 55 years was identified who may be at higher risk for colon polyps. Anoscopy, barium enema, fecal occult blood testing, and complete blood counts had very low yields. These findings differ significantly from data collected on highly selected populations that suggest hemorrhoids rarely exist alone.


It appears that family physicians have not been cavalier in their attitudes toward and management of this common ailment. Clinical investigation of hemorrhoids should be initiated based on clinical impression from evaluating symptoms and signs combined with age-specific screening recommendations.

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