Hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) is a group of diseases long considered rare and difficult to diagnose, associated with eosinophilia or increases in eosinophils in the blood. Though it used to be categorized as idiopathic or without a known cause, recent advanced medical diagnostics have discovered that gene mutations, bone marrow disorders, and abnormally high levels of special white blood cells may be underlying causes of HES.
Individuals of all ages have been diagnosed with HES, but it primarily affects adults between 20 and 50 years old, and about 40% of these are men. Since HES presents a constellation of symptoms, it is often under-diagnosed. Moreover, no reliable patient registers exist for doctors to compile estimates of reported HES. In the future, doctors hope genetic testing may be available to detect the gene mutation thought to be involved in the condition.
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