Many autoimmune diseases are characterized by the presence of autoantibodies. These may be present long before disease starts, but what triggers the transition from autoimmunity (the presence of the antibodies) to disease is unknown, but is likely to include both environmental exposures and genetic susceptibility. What are the risk factors for the transition to disease? Are these modifiable? In which patients is the risk of transition sufficiently high that one would intervene?
Idea No. 5