Adults

The progressive increase in prevalence of lactose maldigestion increases with age, reaching reported adult levels of approximately 70% of the world's adult population. The exceptions are populations of Northern and Central Europeans and some Middle Eastern populations as well as groups of primarily European descent in Australia, New Zealand, and North America. Thus, minority populations in North America and Europe, as well as adult populations in most developing countries, are lactose mal-digesters (Table 2).

Reported milk drinking patterns of individuals classified as maldigesters vary considerably in adults. Data range from 50% reporting symptoms with one 8-oz. glass of milk to 75% reporting symptoms with two 8-oz. glasses of milk and 30% reporting not drinking any milk. Nevertheless, caution

Table 2 Prevalence of lactose maldigestion in selected populations

Population

Country

% Lactose

Population

Country

% Lactose

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