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Behçet’s Disease Common in the American Southwest

Semin Arthritis Rheum; ePub 2019 Mar 9; Muruganandam, et al

Behçet’s disease (BD), a rare disorder that causes blood vessel inflammation throughout the body, is common in the American Southwest with a prevalence of 8.9-10.6 cases per 100,000, according to a recent study. Furthermore, BD patients are commonly initially diagnosed with alternative primary conditions. Researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of BD patients clinically encountered during a 2-year period. All subjects fulfilled the International Study Group criteria (ISG) or International Criteria for Behçet's Disease (ICBD). Age, gender, clinical characteristics, substance use, and HLA-B51 status were determined. They found:

  • 63 patients (female:male ratio: 4.7:1) fulfilled ISG criteria and 76 the ICBD criteria.
  • 84.1% (53/63) were initially diagnosed with non-BD primary diagnoses, including inflammatory arthritis (15.9%), fibromyalgia (7.9%), vasculitis (7.9%), or systemic lupus erythematosus (7.9%).
  • Common BD manifestations were oral aphthous ulcers (100%), acneiform lesions (69.8%), genital aphthous ulcers (61.9%), papulopustular lesions (52.4%), pseudofolliculitis (42.9%), and inflammatory arthritis (41.3%).
  • BD ethnic proportions were 49.2% Hispanic American (HA), 31.7% European-American (EA), 14.3% Native American (NA), and 1.7% other.
  • HLA-B51 was present more in NA (89.0%) and HA (74.2%) compared to EA (42.1%).


Muruganandam M, Rolle NA, Sibbitt Jr WL, et al. Characteristics of Behcet's disease in the American Southwest. [Published online ahead of print March 9, 2019]. Semin Arthritis Rheum. doi:10.1016/j.semarthrit.2019.03.003.