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Sjögren syndrome (SS) is an autoimmune disease caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The most important environmental factor is viral infection. The retrovirus human T lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) is deemed as an SS pathogen, because anti-HTLV-I antibodies were positive in 23% of patients with SS but only in 3.4% of control subjects (blood donors).1 The patients with SS in that study, however, were limited to those who visited the hospital, and the control is not screened for SS, a bias may have been present. Thus, in the present study, we measured anti-HTLV-I antibodies in 852 Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors who had previously been screened for SS.
Between November 2002 and October 2004, 1008 Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors who had been followed biennially since 1958 at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF),2 answered a questionnaire concerning ocular and oral symptoms and were screened for anti-SS-A/Ro, anti-SS-B/La antibodies and rheumatoid factor. …
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