, Volume 32, Issue 10, pp 3097-3102

Combined influence of genetic and environmental factors in age of rheumatoid arthritis onset

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To study the combined effect of both genetic and environmental factors in the age of rheumatoid arthritis onset. Patients (n = 507). Shared epitope characterization was performed using Lifecodes HLA-SSO. Genotyping of protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor 22 (PTPN22) rs2476601 and signal transducers and activators of transcription 4 (STAT4) rs7574865 polymorphism was performed using fast real-time PCR System. Shared epitope, antibodies directed against cyclic citrulinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies and a higher level of education were associated with a younger age at disease onset (P = 0.033, P = 0.004 and P < 0.0001, respectively). Neither carriers of the minor allele of PTPN22 rs2476601 nor STAT4 rs7574 polymorphisms showed a significant association with a younger age at disease onset (P = 0.355, P = 0.065, respectively). We found an additive effect of the three genetic markers in the age at onset: subjects with three markers were associated with a disease onset 9.56, 8.61, and 6.41 years before than those with none, one, or two genetic markers (P = 0.004, P = 0.006 and P = 0.043, respectively). We also described the additive effect of shared epitope, anti-CCP antibodies, educational level, PTPN22, and STAT4 polymorphisms in age at onset. Patients with two, three, four, or five variables were associated with a significant younger age of disease onset (4.72 [0.05–9.38] years (P = 0.048), 9.56 [4.72–14.40] years (P < 0.0001), 12.74 [6.84–18.64] years (P < 0.0001), and 20.87 [10.40–37.17] years (P < 0.0001)). Risk factors for the development of rheumatoid arthritis are also associated, with an additive effect, with a younger age at disease onset.