Background Thromboangiitis obliterans (TAO) is a nonatherosclerotic segmental inflammatory disease that most commonly affects the small and medium-sized arteries, veins, and nerves of the arms and legs. Most epidemiologic studies were conducted using hospital-based data, and only few population-based epidemiologic studies of TAO have been published.
Objectives To estimate the incidence and prevalence of thromboangiitis obliterans (TAO) in Taiwan during 2002 to 2011.
Methods We identified all patients with a diagnosis of TAO (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision code 443.1) in Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database from January 2002 to December 2011. We calculated the age- and sex-specific incidence and prevalence rates of TAO during the study period.
Results During 2002–2011, 158 patients were diagnosed with TAO; of these, 76% were men. Most (63%) patients were <50 years of age when they were first diagnosed. After attaining 20 years of age, the incidence rate increased with age and peaked among those aged ≥60 years. The average incidence rate of TAO during 2002–2011 was 0.068 per 105 years. The incidence of TAO decreased with time: from 0.10 per 105 years in 2002 to 0.04 per 105 years in 2011. The prevalence increased from 0.26×10–5 in 2002 to 0.65×10–5 in 2011.
Conclusions This is the first epidemiologic study of TAO in Taiwan using a nationwide, population-based analysis of data from 2002 to 2011. This study showed a trend of decreasing incidence of TAO with time. It is warranted to conduct future clinical studies to further investigate whether or not such findings are associated with a decreasing smoking rate or periodontal disease prevalence in Taiwan.
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Acknowledgement We thank the members of the Bureau of National Health Insurance, Department of Health, and the National Health Research Institutes for the delivery and management, respectively, of the National Health Insurance Research Database. The interpretation and conclusions contained herein do not represent those of Bureau of National Health Insurance, Department of Health, or National Health Research Institutes.
Disclosure of Interest None declared