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CASPASE-12 (CASP12) has a downregulatory function during infection and thus may protect against inflammatory disease. We investigated the distribution of CASP12 alleles (#rs497116) in African-Americans (AA) with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). CASP12 alleles were genotyped in 953 RA patients and 342 controls. Statistical analyses comparing genotype groups were performed using Kruskal–Wallis non-parametric ANOVA with Mann–Whitney U tests and chi-square tests. There was no significant difference in the overall distribution of CASP12 genotypes within AA with RA, but CASP12 homozygous patients had lower baseline joint-narrowing scores. CASP12 homozygosity appears to be a subtle protective factor for some aspects of RA in AA patients.


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Originally published in Immunogenetics, 66(4), 281-285. The final publication is available at Springer via