The prevalence of Behçet's disease in a city in Central Anatolia in Turkey

Int J Dermatol. 2015 Mar;54(3):286-9. doi: 10.1111/ijd.12173. Epub 2014 Jul 11.


Background: The prevalence of Behçet's disease (BD) is much higher in countries along the ancient Silk Route, extending from Japan to Mediterranean countries including Turkey, than in northern Europe and the USA.

Objectives: The present study aimed to investigate the prevalence of BD in Kayseri, a city in Central Anatolia in Turkey.

Methods: This study investigated cross-sectional prevalences of BD in individuals aged >10 years in Kayseri, Turkey, in two stages. The first stage aimed to identify individuals with recurrent oral ulcers (ROUs) through home visits, and the second stage aimed to further examine those with ROUs for the presence of other BD-related manifestations under hospital conditions. The study was conducted using the criteria defined by the International Study Group for Behçet's Disease. The sample size was determined to be 4697 with an expected sampling error of 5.5 per 10,000, with a 95% confidence interval. A standard questionnaire was administered to a total of 5218 individuals.

Results: A history of ROU was recorded in 470 (9.0%) of the 5218 residents, and a previous diagnosis of BD was recorded in nine individuals. The prevalence rate of BD was estimated as 17 cases per 10,000 population in Kayseri, Turkey.

Conclusions: The present study contributes towards estimations of prevalences of BD in Turkey and towards raising public awareness about the disease. It also supports previous studies that have reported the world's highest prevalences of BD in Turkey.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Behcet Syndrome / complications
  • Behcet Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Behcet Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oral Ulcer / epidemiology*
  • Oral Ulcer / etiology
  • Prevalence
  • Recurrence
  • Turkey / epidemiology
  • Young Adult