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OBJECTIVE: To determine the HLA associations with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and its subgroups as defined by the International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) classification criteria. METHODS: Five hundred and twenty-one UK Caucasian JIA patients and 537 UK Caucasian controls were typed for HLA class II alleles. Phenotype and haplotype frequencies were compared between all JIA cases and controls and between the seven ILAR-defined JIA subgroups. RESULTS: Three haplotypes (DRB1*08-DQA1*0401-DQB1*0402; DRB1*11-DQA1*05-DQB1*03; DRB1*1301-DQA1*01-DQB1*06) were associated with increased risk and one (DRB1*04-DQA1*03-DQB1*03) with decreased risk of JIA. However, in each case the frequencies also varied between JIA subgroups. CONCLUSION: This study categorically demonstrates that there are multiple HLA class II associations with JIA. It has also, for the first time, defined these associations in the seven different ILAR subgroups in UK JIA cases. Although there are a number of common associations, each ILAR subgroup exhibits different patterns of HLA associations, suggesting that the ILAR classification system does define genetically distinct groups of patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Rheumatology (oxford)

Publication Date





1183 - 1189


Adolescent, Arthritis, Juvenile, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, HLA-B27 Antigen, HLA-D Antigens, HLA-DP Antigens, HLA-DP beta-Chains, HLA-DQ Antigens, HLA-DR Antigens, HLA-DRB1 Chains, Haplotypes, Humans, Infant, Male, Phenotype, Risk Factors, United Kingdom