Distribution and Incidence

Glomerulonephritis occurs worldwide. The disease was seen frequently in Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as a complication of scarlet fever during epidemics. Today glomerulonephritis occurs sporadically. Several epidemics have occurred since the 1950s in the United States, Trinidad, and Venezuela. The disease would seem to be more prevalent in the Western world, probably only because modern diagnostic aids are available. Children contract it more commonly than adults, but it occurs in all age groups. Because the disease is often silent, the exact incidence of glomerulonephritis remains unknown.

Figure VIII.60.1. Urine-secreting structure (nephron). (Modified from Arthur C. Allen. 1962. The Kidney: Medical and Surgical Diseases, 2d edition, 27, plate 13A. New York.)

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