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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. …
Funding The Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF), Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, is a private, non-profit foundation funded by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the US Department of Energy, the latter in part through the National Academy of Sciences. This publication was supported by RERF Research Protocols B27-02 and B43-06 and Grant-in-Aid number 15790516 from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Human Investigation Committee in Radiation Effects Research Foundation.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Competing Interests None.
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