Association of HLA-DQB1 polymorphisms with rheumatoid arthritis: a meta-analysis

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Studies investigating the association between HLA-DQB1 alleles and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have reported conflicting results. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether DQB1 alleles confer susceptibility to RA.


A comprehensive literature search up to May 2016 was conducted to identify case-control studies on the association of HLA-DQB1 alleles with RA. Pooled ORs with 95% CIs were used to assess the strength of association.


The literature indicates that HLA-DQB1 is associated with susceptibility to RA.

Main outcome measures

Frequencies of HLA-DQB1 alleles and phenotype in RA patients and healthy controls.


Fifteen studies with 1250 cases and 1621 controls were included in this meta-analysis. DQB1 alleles were associated with RA susceptibility. The frequencies of DQB1*06 were lower in RA (p-value for comparability=0.007, OR 0.726,95% CI 0.576 to 0.916; p=0.004, OR 0.611,95% CI 0.438 to 0.852). The frequencies of DQB1*02 were lower in RA (p=0.044, OR 0.731,95% CI 0.597 to 0.895). A higher frequency of DQB1*04 was observed in RA (p=0.023, OR 1.604,95% CI 1.067 to 2.410).


This meta-analysis demonstrates that DQB1*02 and DQB1*06 may be negatively associated with RA. Conversely, DQB1*04 may confer susceptibility to RA.

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