No epidemiologic study has previously reported on the associations among Behçet’s disease (BD) and autoimmune disorders.
To investigate the association between BD and the autoimmune disorders multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Medical records of patients newly diagnosed with BD (n = 6,214) in 2012-2017 were analyzed using data entered into a large, nationwide database from 2007 to 2017. An age- and sex-matched control population of individuals without BD was sampled at a ratio of controls:BD cases of 3:1 (n = 18,642). Both cohorts were analyzed for the presence of multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis within a minimum of 5 years prior to their BD diagnosis.
Patients with BD had significantly higher odds ratios (ORs) for multiple sclerosis (8.85 [95% CI 2.36-33.17]) and rheumatoid arthritis (4.62 [95% CI 3.35-6.35]) than the control group after adjustment for diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. BD patients aged <40 years had a higher proportion of rheumatoid arthritis (OR 23.91, 95% CI 5.50-103.9) than older patients (OR 3.96, 95% CI 2.83-5.54).
Our results suggest that BD is associated with multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.