CLARITY – ChiLdhood Arthritis Risk factor Identification sTudYReport as inadecuate

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Pediatric Rheumatology

, 10:37

First Online: 15 November 2012Received: 13 August 2012Accepted: 08 November 2012


BackgroundThe aetiology of juvenile idiopathic arthritis JIA is largely unknown. We have established a JIA biobank in Melbourne, Australia called CLARITY – C hiL dhood A rthritis R isk factor I dentification sT udY, with the broad aim of identifying genomic and environmental disease risk factors. We present here study protocols, and a comparison of socio-demographic, pregnancy, birth and early life characteristics of cases and controls collected over the first 3 years of the study.

MethodsCases are children aged ≤18 years with a diagnosis of JIA by 16 years. Controls are healthy children aged ≤18 years, born in the state of Victoria, undergoing a minor elective surgical procedure. Participant families provide clinical, epidemiological and environmental data via questionnaire, and a blood sample is collected.

ResultsClinical characteristics of cases n = 262 are similar to those previously reported. Demographically, cases were from families of higher socio-economic status. After taking this into account, the residual pregnancy and perinatal profiles of cases were similar to control children. No case-control differences in breastfeeding commencement or duration were detected, nor was there evidence of increased case exposure to tobacco smoke in utero. At interview, cases were less likely to be exposed to active parental smoking, but disease-related changes to parent behaviour may partly underlie this.

ConclusionsWe show that, after taking into account socio-economic status, CLARITY cases and controls are well matched on basic epidemiological characteristics. CLARITY represents a new study platform with which to generate new knowledge as to the environmental and biological risk factors for JIA.

KeywordsJuvenile idiopathic arthritis Epidemiology Demographics Early life Risk factors Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1546-0096-10-37 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Justine A Ellis - Anne-Louise Ponsonby - Angela Pezic - Raul A Chavez - Roger C Allen - Jonathan D Akikusa - Jane E Mu


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