Objective: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is characterized by chronic arthritis and an autoimmune etiology. In several autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an association with the 4q27 locus has been reported. We undertook this study to investigate the possible role of the 4q27 locus in JIA.
Methods: A case-control association study was conducted, with a total of 655 Caucasian JIA patients and 791 healthy controls divided into 2 independent sample sets. The rs6822844 marker in the 4q27 locus was genotyped.
Results: In the first and larger sample set, a 5% decrease in T allele frequency was observed in patients compared with controls (allelic odds ratio [OR] 0.72 [95% confidence interval 0.55-0.95], P = 0.019), and in the second set, a 3% decrease was observed (allelic OR 0.81 [95% confidence interval 0.61-1.09], P = 0.169). The combined data set generated an OR of 0.76 (95% confidence interval 0.62-0.93, P = 7.08 x 10(-3)). When the different JIA subtypes were analyzed individually, significant decreases were seen in the subtypes with a polyarticular course of disease (extended oligoarthritis [P = 0.019] and rheumatoid factor-negative polyarthritis [P = 0.038]).
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the 4q27 locus, previously reported to be associated with RA, type 1 diabetes mellitus, celiac disease, and psoriatic arthritis, is also associated with susceptibility to JIA.