The association of the Graves disease (GD) with HLA DR3 and DQA1*0501 in Caucasians has been described previously. From these studies it could not be determined whether one specific locus was primarily involved. Using a case-control study design, we have examined the role of HLA class II gene polymorphisms in the predisposition for GD in a group of Belgian subjects. We demonstrated that both DRB1*0301 and DQA1*0501 alleles conferred significant susceptibility in the DRB1*0301-DQA1*0501 haplotype. The DRB1*0301 allele was the primary susceptibility allele for GD, however, because the susceptibility provided by DQA1*0501 was most likely due to it being in linkage disequilibrium with DRB1*0301. The DRB1*0701/x and DQA1*0201/x genotypes and the DRB1*0701-DQA1*0201 haplotype provided protection with an equal RR of 0.29. Predictive value calculations showed that testing for DRB1*0301 gave the highest positive predictive value for GD in females and males. This was, however, 10 times higher in females and predicted a 3.63% risk for a random female to develop GD.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.