Prevalence of Behcet's disease among adult patients consulting three major clinics in a Druze town in Israel

Pinchas Klein, Abraham Weinberger, Vered Jean Altmann, Salim Halabi, Saeed Fachereldeen, Ilan Krause*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To evaluate the prevalence of Behçet's disease (BD) in a Druze community in Israel, we conducted a twostage clinic-based survey in an Israeli Druze town. The first stage aimed to identify patients with recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) in all patients who visited three of the largest clinics in the town during a period of 6 months. The second stage aimed to identify those patients with RAS who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for BD according to the International Study Group (ISG) criteria. One thousand and eighty-three out of about 4,000 registered subjects were interviewed, 63 of whom had RAS (5.8%). Two patients fulfilled the ISG criteria for BD, resulting in a calculated prevalence in the range of 2:1,083-2:4,000, i.e., 50-185:100,000. Another two patients with oral and genital aphthosis but without eye or skin lesions were diagnosed as suspected BD. The very high prevalence of BD, as found in our study, places the Druze among the populations with the highest prevalence of the disease all over the world, though selection biases could account for overestimation as well as underestimation of the actual BD prevalence. Our findings call for genetic studies to explore whether there is a genetic predisposition to BD in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1166
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Rheumatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2010


  • Behcet's disease
  • Druze
  • Epidemiology
  • Oral ulcers
  • Prevalence


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