Is Behçet’s syndrome associated with an increased risk of ischemic heart disease? A real-world evidence in Taiwan

Chun Yu Lin, Hung An Chen, Chun Hsin Wu, Yu Jih Su, Tsai Ching Hsu, Chung Yuan Hsu

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: A variety of chronic inflammatory diseases are linked to ischemic heart disease (IHD); however, this association is less well studied in patients with Behçet’s syndrome (BS). The primary objective of this study was to examine the impact of BS on the risk of IHD. The secondary objective was to estimate the long-term mortality risk in patients with BS. Methods: Using a retrospective cohort design based on the Taiwan National Health Insurance Database, patients diagnosed with BS between 2000 and 2013, without prior history of IHD, were compared to non-BS individuals. The BS and non-BS cohorts were matched with a 1:2 ratio by propensity score, accounting for the following confounders: age, sex, year of index date, comorbidities, and drug exposure. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to derive the hazard ratio (HR) for IHD and mortality. The long-term survival rate was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: After propensity score matching, a total of 1554 patients newly diagnosed with BS and 3108 control subjects were identified. The incidence rate of IHD in the BS and control groups was 2.7 and 2.9 per 1000 person-years, respectively. The risk of IHD was comparable between BS and control cohorts [adjusted HR, 1.03; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.66 to 1.62]. The 5- and 10-year survival rate of BS patients was 96.8% and 95.0%, respectively. Patients with BS exhibited a significantly higher risk of mortality than the sex- and age-matched general population (adjusted HR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.30 to 2.32). Conclusion: Unlike other chronic systemic autoimmune disorders, BS does not appear to be associated with an excess risk of IHD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number161
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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