WEEKLY UPDATE: September 6, 2019
SUMMARY: Identification of 7 novel genetic variants that may confer an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
DESCRIPTION: Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacking joints which causes damage and swelling. This restricts and makes movement painful. To better understand genetic risk factors for developing rheumatoid arthritis, this genome-wide association study examined over 25,000 individuals of European ancestry. 7 novel genetic variants associated with an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis were discovered. Several of these variants are located in or near genes previously found to play an important role in immune system function. Collectively, these explain an estimated 4% of the heritability for rheumatoid arthritis.
DID YOU KNOW? Smoking is a known risk factor for developing rheumatoid arthritis, and smokers generally have more severe symptoms. [SOURCE]