Japanese patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were observed to have a statistical association with HLA-DR4, MT3. Strong association between the clinical severity of RA and HLA was also observed. Male patients had a stronger association with HLA than female patients. Males are more resistant to RA than females. This suggested that the threshold of liability for RA is higher in males than in females. Japanese patients with RA with systemic vasculitis were negative for HLA-Bw44 and had antilymphocytotoxic autoantibody, indicating that RA with systemic vasculities is different in etiology from RA without systemic vasculities.
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