Does rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in first-degree relatives increase risk?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

First-degree relatives of individuals with RA are at 2- to 3-fold higher risk for the disease. Disease concordance in monozygotic twins is approximately 15-20%, suggesting that nongenetic factors play an important role. Because the worldwide frequency of RA is relatively constant, a ubiquitous infectious agent has been postulated to play an etiologic role.


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