High prevalence of Behçet's disease in southern Italy

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Rheumatology Department of Lucania, San Carlo Hospital of Potenza and Madonna delle Grazie Hospital of Matera, Italy. ignazioolivieri@tiscalinet.it

CER5907 Submission on line
2013 Vol.31, N°3 ,Suppl.77 - PI 0028, PF 0031
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Rheumatology Article



This paper aims to estimate the prevalence of Behçet`s disease (BD) in the city of Potenza, the regional capital of Basilicata (or Lucania) Region, in southern Italy.
Patients with BD living in Potenza for at least 12 months prior to diagnosis were identified through the following sources: general practitioners, community-based specialists, San Carlo Hospital specialists, the Basilicata centralised index and the Basilicata database for rare diseases. All identified patients were contacted by phone and were recalled to our outpatient clinic for re-evaluation. Patients were classified as having complete BD if they met the International Study Group (ISG) criteria for BD.
By surveying a population of 69.060 subjects, 13 patients with a diagnosis of BD were identified. All were white and Italian by descendent. Eleven out of these satisfied the ISG criteria and allowed us to obtain a prevalence rate of 15.9 per 100.000 (95%CI 8.9-28.5), which is the highest ever found value in Europe.
This cross-sectional population-based study suggests that BD is more frequent in the southern part than in the northern part of Italy and confirms that the prevalence of the disease increases in a north-to-south manner within the European continent.

PMID: 23557837 [PubMed]

Received: 14/08/2012 - Accepted : 17/01/2013 - In Press: 02/04/2013 - Published: 09/09/2013