Pacemaker treated women with heart block have no increase in the frequency of HLA-B27 and associated rheumatic disorders in contrast to men--a sex linked difference in disease susceptibility

J Rheumatol. 1986 Oct;13(5):941-3.


HLA-B27 associated rheumatic syndromes have been found in 13% of more than 200 pacemaker treated Caucasian men. Furthermore, a significantly increased frequency of HLA-B27 was found in pacemaker treated men without HLA-B27 associated rheumatic disorders. Consequently, an HLA-B27 associated disease process seems to be the cause of heart block development in 15 to 20% of Caucasian pacemaker treated men. The purpose of our study was to find out if the HLA-B27 associated disease process was equally common in pacemaker treated women. Eighty-five pacemaker treated women with second and third degree heart block were HLA typed for B27, and HLA-B27 positive individuals were further examined for the presence of associated rheumatic disorders. HLA-B27 was present in 7 women, 8.2%, similar to the frequency in the general population, and none of them had an associated rheumatic disease. Thus, there is a significant sex linked difference in the susceptibility to HLA-B27 associated heart block.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Female
  • Genetic Linkage*
  • HLA Antigens / genetics*
  • HLA-B27 Antigen
  • Heart Block / etiology
  • Heart Block / genetics
  • Heart Block / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pacemaker, Artificial*
  • Rheumatic Diseases / complications
  • Rheumatic Diseases / genetics*
  • Sex Characteristics*


  • HLA Antigens
  • HLA-B27 Antigen