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J Autoimmun. 2008 Dec;31(4):325-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2008.08.004. Epub 2008 Oct 5.

The autoimmunologist: geoepidemiology, a new center of gravity, and prime time for autoimmunity.

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Department of Medicine B, Center for Autoimmune diseases, Sheba Medical Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.


There are currently over 100 human diseases that are considered to be autoimmune or chronic inflammatory affecting 5-10% of the world population and spanning through all medical specialties. As a result, health care costs are enormous and the clinical management is often challenging, particularly considering the comorbidity rates and the multi-organ involvement of each condition. We herein propose the creation of a new specialist, coined the autoimmunologist, to overcome the current limitations in the diagnostic process and clinical follow-up of patients with autoimmune diseases. More importantly, we also propose the creation of regional centers of excellence in autoimmunity where clinical research and management, as well as basic research may be united and interact in ideal synergy to ultimately create real translational research and provide better health care.

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