Background Juvenile idiopatic arthritis (JIA) is an autoimmune disease caused by a complex combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Objectives Our study tries to determine the impact of environmental factors on the onset and progression of JIA.
Methods The multicenter study was retrospective and prospective, on a group of 173 Romanian JIA patients selected in accordance to the ILAR criteria and classification. The control group included 236 healthy children of similar age and ethnic background. The data was collected through a questionnaire handed to the parents. The parameters we looked for were: gestational age, weight at birth (under 3000 g, over 3000 g), maternal age, maternal smoking, repeated infections in the first 2 years of life, duration of breast feeding (less than 6 months, longer than 6 months).
Results Breastfeeding for longer than 6 months was present in 41.61% JIA patients, as opposed to 68% in the control group (p=0.0052). Comparing the oligoarticular form to the systemic one, there were more children who had been breastfed (65.06% versus 23.07%; p=0.0207). Repeated infections in the first 2 years of life were present in 54.17% of the patients, as opposed to 37.28% in the control group (p=0.0487), and they were preponderant in the FR+ poliarticular form 89.36% (p=0.0432). No significant differences to the control group were determined for parameters such as gestational age, weight at birth, maternal age, maternal smoking.
Conclusions The influence of environmental factors on JIA onset and evolution remains unknown. Extended studies are necessary in order to determine the impact of such factors on JIA.
Disclosure of Interest None declared