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Asymptomatic primary hyperparathyroidism.
  1. J. C. Birkenhäger,
  2. R. Bouillon
  1. Academisch Ziekenhuis, Inwendige Geneeskunde III, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands.


    The prevalence of hypercalcaemia in the adult population is probably between 0.6 and 1.1%, sufferers being predominantly women over 50 years of age. Most apparently asymptomatic hypercalcaemic patients are found to have primary hyperparathyroidism, and may in fact show some symptoms of the condition (lowered bone mineral density, cardiovascular disease and/or neuropsychiatric symptoms). The criteria for surgical intervention in these cases are discussed in the light of the high success rate of parathyroidectomy in experienced hands and the lack of effective alternative treatments.

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