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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 218-220

Anal complaints in Nigerians attending Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu

Department of Surgery, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A O Tade
Department of Surgery, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The objective of this study was to determine prospectively the prevalence of anal complaints amongst Nigerians attending the General Out-patient Department (GOPD) of the hospital and review the records of those admitted to the surgical service with related complications. All the 272 patients attending the GOPD of OOUTH in November, 1999 were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Information concerning age, sex, educational status, present or past history of at least one of the following symptoms viz recurrent bleeding per rectum, anal prolapse, anal/perianal pain, pruritus ani and anal discharge were obtained. Also obtained were reason(s) for current hospital attendance and any previous medical consultation. Those with at least one of the symptoms were classified as symptomatic. The symptomatic group had rectal examination including proctoscopy. The results showed that 82/272 (30.15% ) were symptomatic. Rectal examination on these 82 patients showed that 10(3.7% of 272) had haemorrhoids, 2(0.7% ) had rectal prolapse, 0.7% had peri-anal warts; 15(5.5% ) anal tags, 10(3.7% ) chronic anal fissure, 2 (0.7% ) perianal fistulae. In 29(10.4% ), the examination was normal and in 12 the rectum was too loaded with feaces to permit proctoscopy. However, only 5/272 (1.84% ) attended the clinic for the anal complaint, while 12(4.4% ) had previously consulted a physician for same. Fear of impotence following surgery in 24 males and belief in herbal remedies in 32 patients were the main reasons for not consulting a physician. During the year 1999, out of a total of 558 admissions into our surgical service, only 4(0.6% ) were for complications related to anal complaints. This study indicated the prevalence of anal complaints in the study population of Nigerians as 30.15% , haemorrhoids constitute 3.7% and anal fissure 3.7% , contrary to low rates reported for developing countries. While this result cannot be extended to represent prevalence amongst Nigerians, it may be a pointer to what is to be expected.

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