The aim of this study was to determine whether the functional interleukin-6 (IL-6) promoter -174 G/C and -572 G/C polymorphisms confer susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in ethnically different populations. Meta-analysis was conducted on the associations between the IL-6 polymorphisms and SLE using; 1) allele contrast, 2) the recessive model, 3) the dominant model, and 4) the additive model. A total of 11 studies were considered in this study, and ethnicity-specific meta-analysis was performed on European and Asian populations. Meta-analysis of the IL-6 -174 G/C polymorphism showed an association between SLE and the IL-6 -174 G allele in all study subjects (odds ratio (OR) = 1.344, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.052-1.718, p = 0.018). Furthermore, stratification by ethnicity indicated an association between the IL-6 -174 G allele and SLE in Europeans (OR = 1.264, 95% CI = 1.037-1.541, p = 0.020). Meta-analysis of the IL-6 -572 G/C polymorphism revealed that an association was found between SLE and the IL-6 -572 G/C polymorphism using the recessive model, but ethnicity-specific meta-analysis revealed no association between SLE and the IL-6 -572 G/C polymorphism in Asians. In conclusion, this meta-analysis demonstrates that the IL-6 -174 G/C polymorphism may confer susceptibility to SLE in Europeans, but that the IL-6 -572 G/C polymorphism is not associated with susceptibility to SLE in Asians.
- systemic lupus erythematosus
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