Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a complex di- sease in which environmental agents are thought to interact with genetic factors to trigger auto-immunity.
The contribution of genetic factors to RA susceptibility is well recognized. The heritability of anticitrullinated protein auto- antibody (ACPA)-positive and ACPA-negative RA implicates different genes . To date, the main known genetic factoris HLA, in particular the HLA-DRB1-shared epitope (SE) alleles, that predispose much more strongly to ACPA. However, the concordance for RA between monozygotic twins is only 15.6%. Thus, environment plays a crucial role in the development of the disease as well.
Achievements in the E3N cohort (including ~100.000 women):
Various lifestyle and environmental factors to identify if they might increase the risk of RA.
From a previous work one of the cohort of this project, we identified passive smoking in childhood as being associated with an increased risk of RA, in future active smokers.
Analyses form this project provided interesting results on the following factors:
This project continues with new research focus.