Author(s): Kobayashi S, Momohara S, Kamatani N, Okamoto H
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Abstract Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic, chronic inflammatory disease that affects 0.5-1\% of the population. RA causes progressive joint destruction that leads to the restriction of activities of daily living and deterioration of quality of life. Although the pathogenesis of RA has not yet been fully elucidated, it is considered to be a complex, multifarious disease that is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Genetic influences that contribute to RA susceptibility have been demonstrated both in studies of twins and families, as well as in genome-wide linkage scans, and it is estimated that genetic factors are responsible for 50-60\% of the risk of developing RA. Thus, environmental factors may explain the remaining risk of developing RA. A large variety of environmental factors such as infectious agents, smoking, sex hormones, pregnancy etc. have been extensively studied previously. Understanding of how these factors contribute to the development of RA may lead to the better understanding of pathogenesis of RA.
This article was published in FEBS J
and referenced in Rheumatology: Current Research