Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Multifactorial condition characterized by inflammation and severe deformation of distal joints. Generally late onset; females are affected three times more than males. One of the autoimmune disorders: antibodies are produced against cells lining the joints (see rheumatoid factor), probably in response to a particular antigen or allergen. Certain HLA haplotypes are associated with specific diseases; both ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis are diseases of joint surfaces, and there are significant risks for persons who carry the HLA DR3 and DR4 haplotypes, respectively. The CCRS co-receptor also attenuates the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.

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