Mode of presentation and multisystem involvement in Behcet's disease: The influence of sex and age of disease onset

Ilan Krause*, Yosef Uziel, Daniela Guedj, Masza Mukamel, Yair Molad, Mirit Amit, Abraham Weinberger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. To evaluate the correlation between the age at onset of Behcet's disease (BD) and sex distribution, mode of disease appearance, and number of organs involved during the disease. Methods. BD was defined according to the International Study Group criteria. Data from medical files and from patient interviews were collected. Results were analyzed for children and adults, according to age at disease onset. A systemic involvement index was calculated as the sum of visceral organ systems involved. Results. Fifty-nine patients with BD were studied, 26 male and 33 female. The mean age at disease onset was 8.4 ± 4.5 years in children and 29.8 ± 7.9 years in adults. The age of onset was significantly lower in male versus female patients. BD presented in children almost entirely as recurrent aphthous stomatitis, while in adults, less than one-third of patients presented first with oral ulcers. The mean age at disease onset of patients who presented first with oral ulcers was significantly lower than the age of patients presenting first with non-oral aphthosis. The mean systemic involvement index was higher in adult onset than in juvenile onset disease. A significant linear correlation was found between age of disease onset and total number of visceral organ systems involved. Conclusion. BD was observed to occur earlier in males than in females. The first manifestation of BD in children is almost exclusively in the form of oral ulcers, while older patients have a large proportion of non-oral aphthosis as their first disease manifestation. Disease onset at an older age is positively correlated with increased disease spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1566-1569
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1998


  • Age of onset
  • Behcet's disease
  • Disease spectrum
  • Sex


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