Background: Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is a common painful lesion affecting millions of people. This population-based epidemiological study aimed to determine the frequency of recurrent aphthous stomatitis in the population and associated diseases and factors.
Methods: In 2013, by the Turkish Society of Internal Medicine, a cohort for chronic diseases and related risk factors was initiated in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey (Cappadocia region). 90% of the whole adult population was included and photos of oral aphthae were used during the questionnaire for chronic diseases.
Results: 10 992 participants, aged ≥18 years included. The mean age were 44.6± 16.4 years; 56.1% were males. RAS history was present in 13.2%, more frequent in females (17.1%). Female gender ( OR: 1.441, CI: 1.253-1.656, p<0.001), presence of any rheumatic disease (OR: 2.364, CI: 1.408-3.968, p:0.001), history of joint swelling (OR: 1.755, CI: 1.527-2.016, p<0.001), low back pain history (OR: 1.727, CI:1.529-1.952, p<0.001) were independent risk factors for RAS. Age (OR: 0.994, CI: 0.990-0.997, p:0.001), alcohol usage (OR: 0.744, CI: 0.566-0.977, p: 0.033) and smoking (OR: 0.651, CI: 0.555-0.763, p<0.001) were protective for RAS.
Conclusions: RAS prevalence was 13.2% in our population-based cohort. Underlying inflammatory rheumatic diseases must be searched in the case of RAS. Alcohol may have a reducing effect on RAS, needs further evaluation.