Antigenic challenge in the etiology of autoimmune disease in women

TitleAntigenic challenge in the etiology of autoimmune disease in women
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsRogers, MAM, Levine, DA, Blumberg, N, Fisher, GG, Kabeto, MU, Langa, KM
JournalJ Autoimmun
KeywordsHealth Conditions and Status, Healthcare, Risk Taking, Women and Minorities

Infection has long been implicated as a trigger for autoimmune disease. Other antigenic challenges include receipt of allogeneic tissue or blood resulting in immunomodulation. We investigated antigenic challenges as possible risk factors for autoimmune disease in women using the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative longitudinal study, linked to Medicare files, years 1991-2007. The prevalence of autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto's disease, Graves' disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, celiac disease, systemic sclerosis, Sjogren syndrome and multiple sclerosis) was 1.4 in older women (95 CI: 1.3 , 1.5 ) with significant variation across regions of the United States. The risk of autoimmune disease increased by 41 (95 CI of incidence rate ratio (IRR): 1.10, 1.81) with a prior infection-related medical visit. The risk of autoimmune disease increased by 90 (95 CI of IRR: 1.36, 2.66) with a prior transfusion without infection. Parity was not associated with autoimmune disease. Women less than 65 years of age and Jewish women had significantly elevated risk of developing autoimmune disease, as did individuals with a history of heart disease or end-stage renal disease. Antigenic challenges, such as infection and allogeneic blood transfusion, are significant risk factors for the development of autoimmune disease in older women.


Rogers, Mary A M Levine, Deborah A Blumberg, Neil Fisher, Gwenith G Kabeto, Mohammed Langa, Kenneth M 5R21HL093129-02/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/ HL078603/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/ HL095467/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/ HL100051/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/ R21 HL093129-01A1/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/ R21 HL093129-02/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/ U01AG009740/AG/NIA NIH HHS/ England J Autoimmun. 2012 May;38(2-3):J97-J102. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

Endnote Keywords

infection/autoimmune disease/allogeneic blood transfusion/risk Factors/WOMEN

Endnote ID


Citation Key7713
PubMed ID21880464
PubMed Central IDPMC3242155