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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2007 May-Jun;25(3):378-84.

Risk factors for Sjögren's syndrome: a case-control study.

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Cattedra di Reumatologia, Dipartimento di Clinica e Terapia Medica, Università di Roma, Rome, Italy.



The aim of this study was to investigate potential risk factors for Sjögren's syndrome (SS) by means of a multi-centre case-control study, focusing in particular on familial and environmental risk factors. 140 female SS patients and 109 female controls with orthopaedic problems were consecutively enrolled in seven university hospitals in Italy.


Information regarding the patient's lifestyle, her medical, menstrual and pregnancy history, and any family history of autoimmune diseases (AD) was obtained through a detailed structured questionnaire. The odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95%CI) were calculated using unconditional logistic regression, adjusting for age and family size. The probability of first-degree relatives developing an autoimmune disease was also investigated.


A positive family history of AD was significantly associated with SS. Subjects with a first-degree relative (FDR) with AD showed a seven-fold increase in the risk for SS compared to controls (OR=7.4, 95%CI 2.8-20.1); the strength of this association increased with the number of relatives affected. Similarly, the FDR of SS patients had a higher risk of AD in comparison to subjects without FDR affected by SS. Women with one or more pregnancies had an increased risk of SS (OR=2.1, 95%CI 1.0-4.3).


This study suggests that a family history of AD is associated with SS.

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