Background The prevalence of Behcet’s disease (BD) varies in different parts of the world.
Objectives To evaluate the prevalence of BD in an Israeli Arab town (Taibe).
Methods Questionnaires about the occurrence and frequency of aphthous ulcers were distributed randomly to the parents of children attending a Paediatric Clinic in Taibe. The parents were asked whether they or any of their children aged over 10 years suffered from recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS), and if so, any who had had more than four episodes during the previous year where each episode had lasted for more than 7 days were invited to come for an extensive interview and examination by a rheumatologist or a paediatrician.
Results Overall, six individuals (one male and five females) were diagnosed as suffering from BD. All of these, two of whom were siblings (a brother and a sister) had RAS, genital ulcers and joint manifestations. Five had skin and four had visual involvement, and one out of two had a positive pathergy test. Five of the six carried HLA-B5 antigens. This gave a prevalence in Taibe of 12/10,000.
Conclusion The prevalence of BD found in our survey is high and concurs with that found in other Mediterranean and Asian countries where a high prevalence has also been noted.
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