Studies in relatives of patients with SLE, particularly in homozygous twins, reveal a higher-than-expected incidence of the disease, thus suggesting the influence of hereditary factors. Nevertheless, the frequency in relatives is relatively low and ranges according to the series from 3% to 18%. Recent studies indicate that there are no notorious differences between the patients with SLE who have other affected relatives (familial SLE) and those who do not (sporadic SLE) (Michel et al. 2001).
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