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Familial Mediterranean fever

  • Definition

    Familial Mediterranean fever is a disorder passed down through families (inherited), which involves repeated fevers and inflammation that often affects the lining of the abdomen, chest, or joints.


    Alternative Names

    Familial paroxysmal polyserositis; Periodic peritonitis; Recurrent polyserositis; Benign paroxysmal peritonitis; Periodic disease; Periodic fever; FMF


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Familial Mediterranean fever is most often caused by a mutation in the MEFV gene. This gene creates proteins involved in inflammation.

    The condition usually affects people of Mediterranean ancestry, especially non-Ashkenazi (Sephardic) Jews, Armenians, and Arabs, although people from other ethnic groups may also be affected.

    This disease is very rare. Risk factors include a family history of familial Mediterranean fever or having Mediterranean ancestry.