International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 215–220 | Cite as

The prevalence of hemorrhoids in adults

  • Stefan RissEmail author
  • Friedrich Anton Weiser
  • Katrin Schwameis
  • Thomas Riss
  • Martina Mittlböck
  • Gottfried Steiner
  • Anton Stift
Original Article



Exact data on the prevalence of hemorrhoids are rare. Therefore, we designed a study to investigate the prevalence of hemorrhoids and associated risk factors in an adult general population.


Between 2008 and 2009, consecutive patients were included in a prospective study. They attended the Austrian national wide health care program for colorectal cancer screening at four medical institutions. A flexible colonoscopy and detailed examination were conducted in all patients. Hemorrhoids were defined according to a standardized grading system. Independent variables included baseline characteristics, sociodemographic data, and health status. Potential risk factors were calculated by univariate and multivariate analysis.


Of 976 participants, 380 patients (38.93%) suffered from hemorrhoids. In 277 patients (72.89%), hemorrhoids were classified as grade I, in 70 patients (18.42%) as grade II, in 31 patients (8.16%) as grade III, and in 2 patients (0.53%) as grade IV. One hundred seventy patients (44.74%) complained about symptoms associated with hemorrhoids, whereas 210 patients (55.26%) reported no symptoms. In the univariate and multivariate analysis, body mass index (BMI) had a significant effect on the occurrence of hemorrhoids with p = 0.0391 and p = 0.0282, respectively. Even when correcting for other potential risk factors, an increase in the BMI of one increased the risk of hemorrhoids by 3.5%.


Hemorrhoids occur frequently in the adult general population. Notably, a considerable number of people with hemorrhoids do not complain about symptoms. In addition, a high BMI can be regarded as an independent risk factor for hemorrhoids.


Hemorrhoids Epidemiology Risk factors Prevalence 


Competing interest

There were no conflicts of interest, sources of financial support, corporate involvement, patent holdings, etc. involved in the research and preparation of this manuscript.


  1. 1.
    Bleday R, Pena JP, Rothenberger DA, Goldberg SM, Buls JG (1992) Symptomatic hemorrhoids: current incidence and complications of operative therapy. Dis Colon Rectum 35:477–481PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Riss S, Riss P, Schuster M, Riss T (2008) Impact of stapled haemorrhoidopexy on stool continence and anorectal function: long-term follow-up of 242 patients. Langenbecks Arch Surg 393:501–505. doi: 10.1007/s00423-007-0257-3 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Riss S, Riss P, Schuster M, Riss T (2008) Long term results after stapled anopexy for symptomatic haemorrhoidal prolapse. Eur Surg 40:30–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Madoff RD, Fleshman JW (2004) American Gastroenterological Association technical review on the diagnosis and treatment of hemorrhoids. Gastroenterology 126:1463–1473PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Badger SA, Gilliland R, Neilly PJ (2005) The effectiveness of flexible sigmoidoscopy as the primary method for investigating colorectal symptoms in low-risk patients. Surg Endosc 19:1349–1352. doi: 10.1007/s00464-004-2215-2 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Banov L Jr, Knoepp LF Jr, Erdman LH, Alia RT (1985) Management of hemorrhoidal disease. J S C Med Assoc 81:398–401PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Haas PA, Haas GP, Schmaltz S, Fox TA Jr (1983) The prevalence of hemorrhoids. Dis Colon Rectum 26:435–439PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Johanson JF, Sonnenberg A (1990) The prevalence of hemorrhoids and chronic constipation. An epidemiologic study. Gastroenterology 98:380–386PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Riss S, Weiser FA, Riss T, Schwameis K, Mittlbock M, Stift A (2011) Haemorrhoids and quality of life. Colorectal Dis 13:e48–e52. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1318.2010.02480.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Brown S, Lumley J (1998) Maternal health after childbirth: results of an Australian population based survey. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 105:156–161PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Thompson JF, Roberts CL, Currie M, Ellwood DA (2002) Prevalence and persistence of health problems after childbirth: associations with parity and method of birth. Birth 29:83–94PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Grobe JL, Kozarek RA, Sanowski RA (1982) Colonoscopic retroflexion in the evaluation of rectal disease. Am J Gastroenterol 77:856–858PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sadahiro S, Mukai M, Tokunaga N, Tajima T, Makuuchi H (1998) A new method of evaluating hemorrhoids with the retroflexed fiberoptic colonoscope. Gastrointest Endosc 48:272–275PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Varadarajulu S, Ramsey WH (2001) Utility of retroflexion in lower gastrointestinal endoscopy. J Clin Gastroenterol 32:235–237PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kelly SM, Sanowski RA, Foutch PG, Bellapravalu S, Haynes WC (1986) A prospective comparison of anoscopy and fiberendoscopy in detecting anal lesions. J Clin Gastroenterol 8:658–660PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Riss
    • 1
    Email author
  • Friedrich Anton Weiser
    • 3
  • Katrin Schwameis
    • 1
  • Thomas Riss
    • 4
  • Martina Mittlböck
    • 2
  • Gottfried Steiner
    • 5
  • Anton Stift
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Center for Medical Statistics, Informatics and Intelligent SystemsMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.Endoscopic CenterViennaAustria
  4. 4.Hartmannspital WienViennaAustria
  5. 5.Endoscopic CenterBadenAustria

Personalised recommendations