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Genetic epidemiology: Approaches to the genetic analysis of rheumatoid arthritis

Sally John1 and Jane Worthington2*

Author Affiliations

1 AstraZeneca, Mereside, Alderley Park, Macclesfield, Cheshire, UK

2 ARC Epidemiology Unit, University of Manchester, Stopford Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, UK

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Arthritis Res 2001, 3:216-220  doi:10.1186/ar304

Published: 27 March 2001


The basis of susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is complex, comprising genetic and environmental susceptibility factors. We have reviewed the available approaches to the investigation of the genetic basis of complex diseases and how these are being applied to RA. Affected-sibling-pair methods for nonparametric linkage analysis, linkage-disequilibrium-based approaches, transmission disequilibrium testing, and disease-association studies are discussed. The pros, cons, and limitations of the approaches are considered and are illustrated by examples from the literature about rheumatoid arthritis.

genetic analysis; rheumatoid arthritis