A new study indicates that the prevalence of Behçet's disease (BD) in the UK appears to be higher than previously estimated. The UK has been traditionally considered a 'non-endemic region' for BD.
Researchers conducted a retrospective matched cohort study to assess the epidemiology of BD using The Health Improvement Network database, with a focus on the risk for cardiovascular disease, thromboembolic disease and mortality in patients with BD.
In 2017, the prevalence of BD was 14.61 (95% CI, 13.35-15.88) per 100,000 population. Patients with BD had substantially higher risks for cardiovascular disease (adjusted HR [aHR], 3.11; 95% CI, 1.53-6.32), ischaemic heart disease (aHR, 3.09; 95% CI, 1.29-7.44), venous thrombosis (aHR, 4.80; 95% CI, 2.42-9.54) and mortality (aHR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.07-1.84) compared with control individuals. Patients with BD were more likely to have pulmonary embolism at baseline than controls individuals (adjusted OR, 4.64; 95% CI, 2.66-8.09; P<.0001 in per cent of patients with bd pulmonary embolism preceded the diagnosis bd.>
Writing in the journal Rheumatology, the authors concluded: "Physicians should also be aware of the increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, ischaemic heart disease, stroke and transient ischaemic attack in patients with BD at an earlier age compared with the general population, and consider the role for cardiovascular risk factor management."