Arthritis

Updated 16 November 2015

Eight new genes for osteoarthritis

The biggest probe yet into the inherited causes of osteoarthritis has turned up eight genes associated with this painful disease, bringing the tally of suspects to 11.

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Researchers led by John Loughlin at Newcastle University, northeast England, compared the DNA code of more than 7 400 people with severe hip and knee osteoarthritis against that of more than 11 000 counterparts who did not have the disease.

The results were then cross-checked against a second group, comprising 7 500 people who had osteoarthritis and 43 000 otherwise healthy counterparts.

Osteoarthritis is the commonest form of arthritis, affecting about 40% of the world's population aged older than 70. Genes are believed to account for about half of the risk for the disease and environmental factors for the rest.

Spotting genes associated with disease helps identify people who are most at risk, so that they can make lifestyle changes. Genetic clues also open the way to new drugs to treat the condition.

(Sapa,July 2012)

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Professor Asgar Ali Kalla completed his MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 1975 at the University of Cape Town and his FRCP in 2003 in London. Professor Ali Kalla is the Isaac Albow Chair of Rheumatology at the University of Cape Town and also the Head of Division of Rheumatology at Groote Schuur Hospital. He has participated in a number of clinical trials for rheumatology and is active in community outreach. Prof Ali Kalla is an expert in Arthritis for Health24.

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