Objective: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a chronic disorder in which both genetic and environmental factors are involved. Recently, we identified the TRAF1/C5 region (located on chromosome 9q33–34) as a risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (pcombined = 1.4×10−8). In the present study the association of the TRAF1/C5 region with the susceptibility to JIA was investigated.
Methods: A case–control association study was performed in 338 Caucasian patients with JIA and 511 healthy individuals. We genotyped the single nucleotide polymorphism rs10818488 as a marker for the TRAF1/C5 region.
Results: The A allele was associated with the susceptibility to rheumatoid factor-negative polyarthritis with an 11% increase in allele frequency (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.09 to 2.18; p = 0.012). This association was stronger when combining subtypes with a polyarticular phenotype (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.90; p = 0.004). In addition, we observed a trend towards an increase in A allele frequency in patients with extended oligoarthritis versus persistent oligoarthritis (49%, 38% respectively); p = 0.055.
Conclusions: Apart from being a well replicated risk factor for RA, TRAF1/C5 also appears to be a risk factor for the rheumatoid factor-negative polyarthritis subtype of JIA and, more generally, seems to be associated with subtypes of JIA characterised by a polyarticular course.
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Funding: This study is supported by research grants of the Dutch Arthritis Association (grant number NR-05-1-403 and KFS-04-2-202).
Competing interests: None.