Frequency of Behçet’s disease among a group of visually impaired adults
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Behçet’s disease (BD) is one of the reasons of acquired visual impairment among young adults. Ocular involvement is a significant cause of disability in BD. The objective of this study is to assess the prevalence of BD among a group of adults who has visual impairment.
Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Education and Technology Center is one of the official institutions which records and follows the demographic data of visually impaired people in Turkey. In November 2014, there were 675 visually impaired people recorded at this center. Medical history was taken from 294 adults by phone in November and December of 2014. Participants were asked if the visual impairment had been either acquired or congenital. If the patients had BD or suspicious BD, they were recalled for detailed investigation which would be carried out by an internist, a rheumatologist and an ophthalmologist.
Two hundred thirteen of 294 (72.4%) visually impaired adults were male. One hundred nine of 294 (37.1%) had acquired visual impairment. Six (5.5%) of those 109 patients had BD. Overall prevalence of BD among study group was 2.04%.The median age of people with BD was 35 years. The median age at BD diagnosis was 16.5 years and the median duration from diagnosis to visual loss was 2.5 years.
BD is still one of the causes of acquired visual impairment in Turkey. In this study, BD prevalence among a visually impaired adult group was 2.04%. BD accounted for 5.5% among adults who had acquired visual impairment. In a study of 1965, BD prevalence among people with acquired blindness was 12%. However, this study was conducted at pre-immunosuppressive period. Our prevalence is obviously lower than those studies. Extended population-based studies are needed for population estimations.
KeywordsAcquired visual impairment Behçet’s disease Blindness Ocular involvement Visual impairment
Compliance with ethical standards
At the beginning of the phone interviews, verbal informed consents were obtained from everyone attending the study. This study has been approved by Hacettepe University Ethics Commission (Approval number: GO 16/287 - 23). Survey was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
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