Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), like many chronic diseases of the immune system, likely results from a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental triggers. Recently, a team of researchers in Sweden set out to investigate the interaction of two specific risk factors: the presence of a gene encoding protein sequence called the shared epitope (SE), the major genetic risk factor so far defined for RA, and cigarette smoking. The results, published in the October 2004 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism indicate that smoking significantly increases the risk of RA among men and women with a genetic predisposition for the disease.
Conducted by a research team in Sweden, this population-based study focused on a large sample of patients with a confirmed diagnosis of the disease--858 individuals, 612 women and 246 men, with an average age of 49 years. The researchers also recruited 1,048 healthy individuals to serve as controls. Participants donated blood samples for DNA genotyping. Every participant also completed lifestyle questionnaires, including smoking habits. Since former smokers tend to have a wide variation in their cumulative smoking history, the researchers chose to restrict their analysis to current smokers and men and women who had never smoked.
The DNA samples of the RA patients were studied for evidence of genes for the SE. The SE is a protein sequence found in cell surface molecules that regulate specific immune responses. The blood samples were also tested for rheumatoid factor, a hallmark of this disease. Then, analyzing women and men together, the researchers compared current smokers with never smokers for the risk of rheumatoid factor positive RA. For people with the SE gene who never smoked, the increased risk for RA was assessed at 2.8 times. For current cigarette smokers without the SE gene, the risk factor was comparable--2.4 times. These findings affirm the SE gene and smoking as independently related to the development of rheumatoid factor positive RA. Among current smokers with the SE gene, however, the disease risk increased to 7.5 times. "The interaction was even more pronounced in smoking subjects with double SE genes, whose relative risk of rheumatoid factor positive RA was 15.7 times higher," observes one of the authors Leonid Padyukov, M.D., Ph.D. However, no risk was found for rheumatoid factor negative RA in this study.
Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy