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Arch Hellen Med, 23(2), March-April 2006, 111-130


Pediatric rheumatic diseases: Epidemiology, genetics and environmental factors


Pediatric rheumatic diseases represent the commonest chronic diseases of pediatrics as well as one of the most significant causes of children's disability. The registries of pediatric rheumatic patients that have been organized during the last decade, allowed a more detailed study and a more effective treatment of these diseases. As a result and despite the fact that many methodological problems remain as yet unresolved, significant progress has been achieved regarding their epidemiology. Moreover, large population and familial genetic studies have been undertaken, either in single gene or in genome-wide level, resulting in a much better understanding of their genetic basis. Noteworthy, these studies determined precisely the contribution of environmental factors in the etiology of these diseases, even if the research towards the detection of these factors is still undeveloped.

Key words: Juvenile dermatomyositis/polymyositis, Junevile idiopathic arthritis, Pediatric rheumatic diseases, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Vasculitis.

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