Behcet’s disease is linked to Multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis

The findings of a nationwide cohort database study published in Dermatology reported the association of Behçet’s disease (BD) with sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Subjects with newly diagnosed BD demonstrated significant higher odds ratio for rheumatoid arthritis (8.85) and multiple sclerosis (4.62).

The nationwide Korean population-based study carried out between 2007 and 2017 investigated the association between BD and the autoimmune disorders multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis in 6,214 newly diagnosed BD patients. A significantly higher odds ratios for multiple sclerosis (8.85 [95% CI 2.36–33.17]) and rheumatoid arthritis (4.62 [95% CI 3.35–6.35]) was seen in BD patients compared to control post adjusting diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. Patient with BD had higher incidence of multiple sclerosis (0.14%) and rheumatoid arthritis (1.63%) compared to control group (0.02 and 0.34%). BD patients with <40 years of age demonstrated higher incidence of rheumatoid arthritis (OR 23.91, 95% CI 5.50–103.9) than older patients (OR 3.96, 95% CI 2.83–5.54).

The study by Jin Hyung Junga and co-authors holds significant relevance, as there is no epidemiologic data evaluating the association of BD with autoimmune disorders. Moreover, the research helps to further understand BD pathogenesis. Clinicians should further consider the possibility of common concurrent autoimmune disorders in BD patients in order to customize the treatment.


Reference: Jung JH, Han KD, Lee YB, Park YG. Behçet’s Disease Is Associated with Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Korean Population-Based Study. Dermatology. 2022;238(1):86-91