Behcet's disease is a complex, multisystemic, inflammatory disorder characterized clinically by recurrent oral and genital ulcerations as well as uveitis, sometimes leading to blindness. The etiology and pathogenesis of this syndrome remain obscure. However, various factors are suspected, including genetic propensity, infectious precipitants, and immunological abnormalities. Considering the chronicity and unclear etiology of the disease, we conducted a prospective investigation of a possible alteration in the bone mineral density of affected persons. Thirty-five patients (18 males and 17 females, mean age 38.02 +/- 7.93 years) diagnosed with Behcet's disease and 33 sex- and age-matched healthy controls (14 males and 19 females, mean age 40.06+/-7.66 years) were seen on an outpatient basis, and bone densitometry measurements were done from June 2000 to December 2002 at the Mersin University Hospital in Turkey. Postmenopausal women with Behcet's disease and patients receiving oral corticosteroid therapy were excluded from the study. The mean disease duration was 6.68 7.05 years. Bone mineral density was measured with dual X-ray absorptiometry at the lumbar spine and right femur. The mean Z scores of the patient and control groups were -0.50+/-1.06 and -0.13+/-0.92 at the lumbar spine, respectively, and 0.38+/-1.07 and 0.45+/-1.20 at the right femur, respectively. No significant differences in bone mineral density values were detected in the groups at either the lumbar (P = 0. 15) or right femur (P = 0.82) site. Body mass index and disease duration did not influence bone mineral density, and age had a positive correlation with bone mineral density in patients with Behcet's disease. In conclusion, although it is difficult to draw definite conclusions due to the relatively small sample size, our study confirms that bone mineral density in Behcet's disease was not lower than in healthy subjects.