, Volume 155, Issue 7, pp 540-544

Familial Mediterranean fever in Arab children: The high prevalence and gene frequency

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Over a period of 3 years, 192 children with familial Mediterranean fever were prospectively studied. Of these, 106 (55%) were girls and 86 (45%) were boys. The prevalence was 1∶2600 children with a gene frequency of 1∶50. The age at onset ranged between 4 months and 16 years. Of these patients 24% started their illness below the age of 2 years and 88% were symptomatic before the age of 10 years: 82% had recurrent abdominal pain, 43% had pleurisy, 37% had arthritis, 15% had cutaneous manifestations, 12% had splenomegaly and 4% had hepatomegaly. The presenting symptoms were abdominal pain in 51%, unilateral chest pain in 23% and arthritis in 26%. The family history was positive in 62%. Of 12 affected families 19 members had/have renal failure and amyloidosis was confirmed in 7 patients.