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Although much remains to be learned about environmental factors and putative pathogens, significant strides have been made on the genetic front. Genes appear to have a greater role in determining disease severity than disease risk. In particular, patients who are heterozygous for two HLA-DR4 subtypes are prone to severe erosive disease, making them candidates for early, aggressive therapy.


Journal article


Hosp pract (off ed)

Publication Date





77 - 81


Alleles, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Autoimmune Diseases, Disease Susceptibility, Environmental Health, Female, Genes, MHC Class II, HLA-DR4 Antigen, Haplotypes, Heterozygote, Humans, Male