Familial risk of Behçet's disease among first-degree relatives: A population-based aggregation study in Korea

Hyeong Sik Ahn, Hyun Jung Kim, Sayada Zartasha Kazmi, Taeuk Kang, Jae Bum Jun, Min Ji Kang, Kyoung Beom Kim, Sun Ho Kee, Dong Sook Kim, Hoo Jae Hann

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4 Scopus citations


Objective: Previous studies have indicated that Behçet's disease (BD) has a genetic component, however population-level familial risk estimates are unavailable. We quantified the familial incidence and risk of BD in first-degree relatives (FDR) according to age, sex and type of family relationship. Methods: Using the Korean National Health Insurance database, which has full population coverage and confirmed FDR information, we constructed a cohort of 21 940 795 individuals comprising 12 million families, which were followed for a familial occurrence of BD from 2002 to 2017. Age- and sex-adjusted incidence risk ratios for BD were calculated in individuals with affected FDR compared with those without affected FDR. Results: Among the total study population, 53 687 individuals had affected FDR, of whom 284 familial cases developed BD with an incidence of 3.57/104 person-years. The familial risk (incidence) for BD was increased to 13.1-fold (2.71/104 person-years) in individuals with an affected father, 13.9-fold (3.11/104 person-years) with affected mother, 15.2-fold (4.9/104 person-years) with an affected sibling and the highest risk was 165-fold (46/104 person-years) with an affected twin. Familial risks showed age dependence, being higher in younger age groups. The sex-specific familial risk was similar in males and females. Conclusion: This study provides quantified estimates of familial incidence and risk in FDR of BD patients in an entire population. Familial risks were higher within generation (sibling-sibling) vs between generations (parent-offspring). This implicates complex interactions between genetic factors and shared childhood environmental exposures in the pathogenesis of BD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2697-2705
Number of pages9
JournalRheumatology (United Kingdom)
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.


  • Behçet's disease
  • Korea
  • familial risk
  • genetic and environmental factors
  • incidence


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