INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to determine the incidence of chronic mesenteric ischemia (CMI) and to examine the influence of the etiological cause, location, and severity of a mesenteric artery stenosis on the probability of having CMI. METHODS: A prospective database, containing the details of all patients with suspected CMI referred to a renowned CMI expert center, was used. Patients residing within the expert centers' well-defined region, between January 2014 and October 2019, were included. CMI was diagnosed when patients experienced sustained symptom improvement after treatment. RESULTS: This study included 358 patients, 75 had a ≥50% atherosclerotic stenosis of 1 vessel (CMI 16%), 96 of 2 or 3 vessels (CMI 81%), 81 celiac artery compression (CMI 25%), and 84 no stenosis (CMI 12%). In total, 138 patients were diagnosed with CMI, rendering a mean incidence of 9.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] 6.2-13.7) per 100,000 inhabitants. Atherosclerotic CMI was most common, with a mean incidence of 7.2 (95% CI 4.6-11.3), followed by median arcuate ligament syndrome 1.3 (95% CI 0.5-3.6) and chronic nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia 0.6 (95% CI 0.2-2.6). The incidence of CMI was highest in female patients (female patients 12.0 [95% CI 7.3-19.6] vs male patients 6.5 [95% CI 3.4-12.5]) and increased with age. CMI was more prevalent in the presence of a ≥70% atherosclerotic single-vessel stenosis of the superior mesenteric artery (40.6%) than the celiac artery (5.6%). DISCUSSION: The incidence of CMI is higher than previously believed and increases with age. Probability of CMI seems highest in suspected CMI patients with multivessel disease or a ≥70% atherosclerotic single-vessel superior mesenteric artery stenosis.