Behçet's disease in Israel: The influence of ethnic origin on disease expression and severity

I. Krause*, R. Mader, J. Sulkes, M. Paul, Y. Uziel, M. Adawi, A. Weinberger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. To evaluate the relationship between ethnic origin and manifestations of Behçet's disease (BD) in Israel. Methods. We studied 100 Israeli patients with BD, 66 Jews and 34 Arabs. The 3 largest ethnic groups of Jewish patients originated from Iran/Iraq (n = 21), Turkey (n = 12), and North African countries (n = 21). Patients were evaluated with respect to the entire spectrum of disease manifestations, and a systemic severity score for BD was calculated for each patient. Disease expression was compared between Jewish and Arab patients and among Jewish ethnic groups. Results. There were no statistically significant differences between Jewish and Arab patients with respect to male:female ratio, prevalence of HLA-B5, age of disease onset, or disease duration. Disease expression and severity score were also similar in the 2 groups, but Arab patients had a higher rate of posterior uveitis (20.6 vs 4.6%; p < 0.03). Among the 3 largest Jewish ethnic groups, patients of North African origin had a significantly higher rate of ocular disease (p < 0.01), mainly in the form of anterior uveitis (p < 0.01). These patients also had higher rates of arthritis, overall vascular disease, deep vein thrombosis, and neuro-Behçet without reaching statistical significance. The disease severity score in this group was significantly higher compared to the other Jewish ethnic groups (p < 0.02). Conclusion. The expression of BD is similar in Israeli Jewish and Arab patients but the latter have more severe eye disease. The disease in Israeli Jewish patients is most severe in those originating from North African countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1033-1036
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Behçet's disease
  • Disease spectrum
  • Ethnic origin
  • Severity


Dive into the research topics of 'Behçet's disease in Israel: The influence of ethnic origin on disease expression and severity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this