Authors respond to criticism of rheumatoid arthritis twin study

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7360.391/a (Published 17 August 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:391
  1. Anders Svendsen, consultant,
  2. Niels V Holm, associate professor,
  3. Kirsten Kyvik, associate professor,
  4. Per Hyltoft Petersen, master of science,
  5. Peter Junker, professor
  1. Department of Rheumatology, Odense University Hospital, 5000 Odense C, Denmark
  2. Department of Radiotherapy and Clinical Oncology, Odense University Hospital
  3. Danish Twin Registry, Department of Public Health, Epidemiology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense
  4. Department of Clinical Chemistry, Odense University Hospital
  5. Department of Rheumatology, Odense University Hospital

    EDITOR—The letter by MacGregor et al in response to our twin study focuses on three points: heritability, bias, and the contribution of specific genes to the aetiology of rheumatoid arthritis.1

    MacGregor et al state that two previous twin studies on rheumatoid arthritis have reported comparable heritability estimates at approximately 60%. But a heritability estimate is a theoretical concept relying on several assumptions which cannot at present be met in rheumatoid arthritis. Besides, heritability estimates are population specific since the variation of environmental and genetic …

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