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Pemphigus Foliaceus and Pemphigus Erythematosus are the Most Common Subtypes of Pemphigus in Northern Finland

Anna-Kaisa Försti, Ossi Vuorre, Eveliina Laurila, Jari Jokelainen, Laura Huilaja, Kaisa Tasanen
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3280

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Abstract

Pemphigus is an autoimmune skin disease characterized by blistering and erosions of the skin and mucous membranes. Pemphigus is rare in Northern and Western Europe but its incidence is higher around the Mediterranean Sea. The most common type worldwide is pemphigus vulgaris. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of pemphigus subtypes in Northern Finland between 1985 and 2017. A total of 46 patients diagnosed with pemphigus at the Department of Dermatology of Oulu University Hospital were found the female/male ratio was 1.7. In contrast to many other countries it was found that in Northern Finland the superficial pemphigus subtypes were the most common: erythematosus or foliaceus (65%) followed by pemphigus vulgaris (26%). Over the past 4 decades the annual incidence of pemphigus in Finland has increased from 0.76 to 2.8 cases per million persons.

Significance

Pemphigus comprises a group of autoimmune skin diseases characterized by blistering and erosions of the skin and mucous membranes. Pemphigus is rare in Northern and Western Europe but its incidence is higher around the Mediterranean Sea. The most common type worldwide is pemphigus vulgaris. To the best of our knowledge there are no recent reports of the incidence of pemphigus in Nordic populations. The latest study into the incidence of pemphigus in Finland is from the 1970s. However the incidence may have been affected for example by immigration. This is a retrospective database study of all patients with pemphigus diagnosed in the Oulu University Hospital between 1985 and 2017. The current study included 46 patients and interestingly the most prevalent subtype was superficial pemphigus foliaceus or erythematosus (65%). This study also reports comorbidities of study patients and treatments used for pemphigus in the Oulu University Hospital.

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