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Absence of an association between HLA-DRB1*04 and rheumatoid arthritis in newly diagnosed cases from the community.
  1. W Thomson,
  2. L Pepper,
  3. A Payton,
  4. D Carthy,
  5. D Scott,
  6. W Ollier,
  7. A Silman,
  8. D Symmons
  1. ARC Epidemiology Research Unit, Manchester Medical School, United Kingdom.


    OBJECTIVES--To determine HLA-DR4 and DR1 allele frequencies in a series of patients with newly diagnosed early inflammatory arthritis. METHODS--HLA-DR1 and DR4 frequencies were determined by oligonucleotide typing of 208 patients classified as having either rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or undifferentiated inflammatory polyarthritis. RESULTS--The frequency of occurrence of DR4 in these patients with RA did not differ significantly from that in controls in the United Kingdom (42 v 37%). HLA-DR1 was increased in the group with inflammatory polyarthritis (25 v 18%). CONCLUSIONS--The frequency of DR4 is not increased in newly diagnosed community based patients with RA. This supports the hypothesis that DR4 is less important as a marker for susceptibility to RA than it is for disease persistence or severity.

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