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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease with a worldwide prevalence of approximately 1%. The aetiology of RA is largely unknown, but it is thought that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in the pathogenesis of the disease. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and candidate gene approaches have led to the association of a number of genetic susceptibility loci.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The Wellcome Trust case-control consortium (WTCCC), the first GWAS in RA, identified a number of loci reaching genome-wide significance including the HLA region and the PTPN22 gene.5 To identify new genetic risk factors, Thomson et al investigated whether tier 2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (p = 1×10−5−1×10−7) in the WTCCC-GWAS showed an association with RA in an independent validation study …
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