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HLA-DR4 and career prospects in rheumatology: is there a link?

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 23 December 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1665
  1. A Gough, clinical research fellowa,
  2. J Faint, scientific techniciana,
  3. M Salmon, senior research fellowa,
  4. P Bacon, professor of rheumatologya,
  5. P Emery, senior lecturer in rheumatologya
  1. aDepartment of Rheumatology Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT
  1. Correspondence to: Professor P Emery, Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Research Unit, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9NZ


    Objective: To determine whether HLA type is associated with career progress in rheumatology.

    Design: Comparison of HLA type after HLA analysis of samples of venous blood.

    Setting: Department of Rheumatology Research, University of Birmingham.

    Subjects: All (37) staff in the department.

    Results: All the senior academics and most staff with a PhD expressed HLA-DR4. The prevalence of expression in each of these groups was significantly greater than that found in the controls. None of the junior doctors or secretaries expressed DR4.

    Conclusion: The junior doctors in the department have poor career prospects as HLA-DR4 seems to be associated with academic achievement.

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