Introduction: Behçet’s disease is most prevalent in countries along the former Silk Road. Prevalence varies from 70-420 per 100,000 in Turkey, and 13.5-20 and 1-2 per 100,000 in Asia and Western Europe, respectively. Additionally, disease severity and morbidity might be correlated with ethnicity. We studied demography and morbidity in the Dutch cohort of patients with Behçet’s disease and compared those with known figures.
Patients and methods: The prevalence of Behçet’s patients
in the Rotterdam area was determined by comparing the total number of patients within the ethnic population with the number of patients diagnosed with Behçet’s disease. Patient files of the Erasmus University Medical Centre (Erasmus MC) were reviewed for morbidity figures and compared with existing data.
Results: In total 84 Behçet’s patients of Dutch, Turkish or Moroccan descent were identified in the Rotterdam area. Prevalence of Behçet’s disease differed per ethnicity: 1, 71 and 39 per 100,000 for Dutch-aucasians, Turks, and Moroccans, respectively. These figures are comparable with occurrence in West Turkey and Morocco. Within the studied Erasmus MC cohort no significant differences in morbidity appeared between the ethnic groups. However, uveitis and pustules were significantly more common in the Erasmus MC cohort as compared with UK, German, Turkish and Moroccan cohorts.
Discussion and Conclusions: We present the first epidemiological study of Behçet’s disease in the Netherlands. The prevalence of Behçet’s disease in the studied Dutch region and in countries of ancestry is similar. Morbidity is equally spread, compared with other
countries, but uveitis and pustules seem to be more common in the Netherlands.