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We have read the article by de Pablo et al1 with great interest. The authors reported higher frequencies of antibodies against the uncitrullinated form of fibrinogen and of the arginine containing α-enolase peptide-1 in patients with periodontitis compared with patients without periodontitis. As a consequence of their study the authors concluded that antibodies to uncitrullinated versions of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) associated autoantigens may occur before the development of anticitrullinated peptide/protein antibodies. This encouraged us to analyse the data for individuals identified in the Medical Biobank of Northern Sweden as having donated blood samples before the onset of the symptoms of RA with regard to the first time point when different autoantibody specificities were detectable.
The number of individuals identified and the procedure for excluding any sample have been described …