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July 28, 1978

Medical News

JAMA. 1978;240(4):333-341. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290040011002

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Blood studies soon may show who is at risk for rheumatoid arthritis  The results of a new study showing that nearly three fourths of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have one or more of three particular histocompatibility antigens as well as a common B lymphocyte marker have added to the growing belief that susceptibility to this most serious form of arthritis is genetically controlled.The study, performed by Allan Gibofsky, MD, research associate at Rockefeller University in New York, and colleagues, shows that in blood tests on 53 patients, a highly specific group of human typing sera reacted positively with lymphocytes of 70% of patients with RA, as opposed to only 20% of normal persons.According to Dr Gibofsky, the ability to identify patients predisposed to RA might result in earlier and better treatment and could be important to researchers trying to learn what factors trigger the disease. The