Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is most often seen in young, single, sexually active women with a history of sexually transmitted infections. The exact incidence is unknown because it is difficult to diagnose definitively based on clinical signs and symptoms. PID may affect at least 1 million women in the US each year and is the most common gynaecological reason for hospital admission. In the UK, an estimated 33.6% and 16.1% of women aged 35-44 years have experienced at least one episode of PID and salpingitis respectively. The estimated lifetime prevalence of PID in the US is 4.4%. In industrialised countries, the annual incidence of PID peaks in women aged 20 to 24 years. Most cases are diagnosed in the outpatient setting. The number of cases diagnosed in the US decreased between 1985 and 2001 in both hospital and ambulatory settings. This may be due to early diagnosis and treatment of chlamydia infection.
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