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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Still's disease adult onset

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Other Names for this Disease
  • Adult onset Still disease
  • Adult Still's disease
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Your Question

Is adult-onset Still's disease genetic?

Our Answer

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What is adult-onset Still's disease?

Adult-onset Still's disease is an inflammatory condition characterized by high fevers, rash, sore throat, and joint pain. As it progresses, adult-onset Still's disease may lead to chronic arthritis and other complications.[1][2] Still's disease was named after an English doctor named George Still, who described the condition in children in 1896.[1] Still's disease which occurs in children (those under the age of 16) is now known as systemic onset juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA).[1][2] In 1971, the term "adult Still's disease" was used to describe adults who had a condition similar to systemic onset JRA.[1] The cause of adult-onset Still's disease is unknown. No risk factors for the disease have been identified.[2] There's no cure for adult-onset Still's disease; however, treatment may offer symptom relief and help prevent complications.[1]


Last updated: 8/12/2009

What causes adult-onset Still's disease?

The cause of adult-onset Still’s disease is unknown.[2][3] Some hypothesize that the condition results from or is triggered by a virus or other infectious agent.[1][3] Others believe that it is a hypersensitive or autoimmune disorder.[4] To date, no conclusive evidence has been found to prove or disprove either theory.[3]
Last updated: 8/3/2011

Is adult-onset Still's disease genetic?

Multiple cases of adult-onset Still's disease in families are uncommon; therefore, it's unlikely that this disorder is inherited.[1] However, there may be cases where it is or appears to be inherited. These cases should be evaluated independently by a rheumatologist and/or genetics professional.
Last updated: 7/1/2009