Genetic epidemiology. Approaches to the genetic analysis of rheumatoid arthritis

Arthritis Res. 2001;3(4):216-20. doi: 10.1186/ar304. Epub 2001 Mar 27.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / genetics*
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Epidemiology*