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Hemorrhoids, also called piles or varicose veins of the anus and rectum are masses or clumps or cushions of tissues consisting of muscle and elastic fibers with enlarged, bulging blood vessels and surrounding supporting tissues present in the anal canal of an individual suffering from the disease. The anal canal is the last four centimeters of the alimentary canal through which stool passes as it moves out from the rectum to the outside world (1) & (2).
Hemorrhoids are a normal part of the anal canal, but problems develop when the veins inside hemorrhoids swell or burst due to inflammation (2).
In the US, about 4.4% of the general population has hemorrhoids which occurs more often in caucasions from rural areas and in those with higher a socio-economic status. Prevalence of hemorrhoids increases with age. Hemorrhoids peaks in people aged 45-65 years (3).
Article by Kona Vishnu, MS
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