The precise incidence of spinal stenosis is unknown. Acquired degenerative spinal stenosis typically becomes symptomatic in patients in their 50s and 60s. Around 80% of women and 95% of men over 65 years have radiographical evidence of degenerative changes, and a large series of myelograms in adults showed stenosis in 1.7% to 6%. Men and women are equally affected, but spondylolisthesis is more common in women. Lumbar stenosis may be increased in smokers, and patients with lumbar stenosis may have co-existent cervical stenosis. There is no association with ethnicity.
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