“Geoepidemiology and ethnicity should be considered as key variables that should be analyzed in multiethnic studies of patients with primary Sjogren’s syndrome, which is the systemic autoimmune disease with the most unbalanced gender ratio, with nearly 14 women affected per one man,” Dr. Ramos-Casals concluded.
Sjogren’s researcher Dr. Qing Yu of the Harvard-affiliated Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, told Reuters Health, “This study . . . provides crucial new evidence supporting a contribution of both genetic and environmental factors to the disease pathologies and manifestations.”
“Knowledge of the varied prevalence and pattern of disease manifestations in different ethnic and geographical groups could be useful for clinicians in the diagnosis of Sjogren’s disease, a challenging process that takes three to four years on average,” she said by email.
“More importantly,” Dr. Yu concluded, “the information from this study will no doubt facilitate further clinical, epidemiological and basic research on Sjogren’s disease to benefit millions of patients.”
Brito-Zerón P, Acar-Denizli N, Zeher M, et al. Influence of geolocation and ethnicity on the phenotypic expression of primary Sjögren’s syndrome at diagnosis in 8310 patients: a cross-sectional study from the Big Data Sjögren Project Consortium. Ann Rheum Dis. 2016 Nov 29. pii: annrheumdis-2016-209952. [Epub ahead of print]