January 09, 2020
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Study shows global prevalence of oral lichen planus

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Oral lichen planus is more likely to occur in non-Asian countries and among women, according to results of a meta-analysis investigating this disease.

“Integrated information on the global prevalence and incidence of oral lichen planus (OLP) is lacking,” Changchang Li, MD, of the department of dermatology at Wenzhou Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine at Zhejiang University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China, and colleagues wrote.

The aim of the systematic review of both population- and clinic-based studies was to determine global prevalence and incidence of OLP. The researchers reviewed the Cochrane, Embase and Medline databases from inception through March 2019.

The terms “lichen planus or LP” along with “prevalence or incidence or epidemiology” in any language comprised the search terms.

Prevalence of OLP among the overall population and subgroups served as the primary endpoint.

Ultimately, 46 studies were included in the analysis.

Among the general population (n =462,993), the OLP overall pooled estimated prevalence was 0.89% (95% CI, 0.38-2.05). The rate was 0.98% (95% CI, 0.67-1.43) among 191,963 clinical patients.

The researchers reported data for 15 population-based studies. OLP occurred at a rate of 0.57% (95% CI, 0.15-2.18) in Asia, 1.68% (95% CI, 1.09-2.58) in Europe and 1.39% (95% CI, 0.58-3.28) in South America.

Findings from 31 clinic-based studies showed a prevalence of 1.43% (95% CI, 1.12-1.83) in Africa compared with 0.87% (95% CI, 0.61-1.25) in Asia, 1.03% (95% CI, 0.51-2.09) in European countries, 0.11% (95% CI, 0.07-0.16) in North America and 3.18% (95% CI, 0.97-9.95) in South America.

Further analysis looking at OLP prevalence by sex in the population-based analyses showed rates of 1.55% (95% CI, 0.83-2.89) in women and 1.11% (95% CI, 0.57-2.14) in men. For clinic-based studies, prevalence rates were 1.69% (95% CI, 1.05-2.70) in women and 1.09% (95% CI, 0.67-1.77) in men.

Five clinic-based studies included information about age distribution of OLP. Results of these analyses showed that the disease occurred at a rate of 0.62% (95% CI, 0.33-1.13) in patients younger than 40 years and 1.90% (95% CI, 1.16-3.10) in those 40 years and older.

“This study identified the global prevalence and incidence of OLP in terms of its spatial, temporal and population distribution,” the researchers said. “A higher prevalence of OLP was found in non-Asian countries, among women, and among people 40 years and older. The findings should be considered with caution because of the high heterogeneity of the included studies.” – by Rob Volansky

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.