Four assays of rheumatoid factor (RF) have been measured on serum from 213 individuals from 13 families containing at least two sufferers from classical or definite rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Families were not uniformly RF positive or negative, and there was no evidence that non-RA RF positivity was inherited. Four individuals developed definite RA over a two year period, showing that the family members were at increased risk of RA. IgG RF and latex RF assays predicted the RA in the four cases. An association of RF positivity in RA with DR4 was observed, but this may be related to disease severity.
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