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Rheumatoid arthritis research points to genetic component

28th June 2007

Genetic variations and their effects is an emerging area of study and within rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It offers a possible theory into the widely varying patient responses to disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. A geographical/ethnic trend seems to be present in Europe, where RA is more common in the Anglo-Saxon population than in the Mediterranean population. The US also shows a marked variation in prevalence, which is suggestive of a genetic effect. At the other end of the prevalence range, Japanese and Chinese studies have shown a comparatively lower RA prevalence. However, it has been estimated that these alleles account for only one-half of the genetic effect, leaving the remaining factors to be discovered through continued research.

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