Objectives This study elucidates the prevalence of seropositivity and determinants for rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP), and anti-mutated citrullinated vimentin (anti-MCV) antibodies in unaffected first-degree relatives (FDRs) of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.
Methods The subjects (135 with RA and 202 of their FDR) were enrolled in this case-control study. Serum RF, anti-CCP antibody, and anti-MCV antibody were measured. Subjects with multi-case families (two or more affected FDRs within the study family) were identified. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine the risk factors associated with RA-related autoantibodies.
Results Seropositivity for RF, anti-CCP antibody, and anti-MCV antibody in unaffected FDRs was 14.4%, 5.0%, and 13.4%, respectively. Anti-CCP antibody was more prevalent in FDRs with multi-case families (17.8%) than in those without multi-case families (1.3%) (p<0.0001). Significant correlations were detected between RA-associated autoantibodies in the FDR group (r =0.366, p<0.0001 between RF and anti-CCP antibody; r =0.343, p<0.0001 between RF and anti-MCV antibody; r =0.849, p<0.0001 between anti-CCP antibody and anti-MCV antibody). The anti-CCP antibody seropositivity in FDRs was significantly associated with the presence of multi-case families within FDRs (odds ratio: 49.8, 95% confidence interval: 5.6 – 441.6 after adjustment for age and gender).
Conclusions The association between anti-CCP antibody seropositivity and having a multi-case family in the unaffected FDR group suggests that genetic and/or environmental factors may increase the unaffected FDR subjects’ risk of developing RA.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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