Pemphigus in Israel - An epidemiologic analysis of cases in search of risk factors

Yonit Wohl, Sarah Brenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite the high incidence of pemphigus in the Jewish population, data on the epidemiology and etiology of the disease in Israel are sparse. Objective: This study was conducted to identify clinical and epidemiologic features of pemphigus patients in Israel, while searching for risk factors that induce or exacerbate the disease. Methods: Demographic and clinical information was recorded from the charts of 55 pemphigus patients treated over a 5 year period. A sample of 22 patients was compared to 22 age and gender-matched controls by means of a questionnaire querying details on lifestyle, including occupation, diet, sun exposure, and smoking. Results: The findings show that the typical Israeli pemphigus patient is middle-aged, married, and of East European or Middle Eastern origin. The most common diagnosed clinical variant was pemphigus vulgaris, followed by pemphigus erythernatosus. Some 70% of patients were treated with two or more immunosuppressive drugs and 62% entered long-lasting remission. Twenty-three percent of patients were exposed through their work to chemical substances, mainly pesticides, at the beginning of the disease and 18% of patients were continually exposed to ultraviolet radiation 5 years prior to onset of the disease. Conclusions. There is a possible correlation between occupational exposure to pesticides and UV radiation, and pemphigus induction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-412
Number of pages3
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2003


  • Acetylcholine receptor
  • Occupational pemphigus induction
  • Pemphigus epidemiology
  • Pesticides
  • Ultraviolet radiation


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