Familial Mediterranean fever

An inherited condition that affects certain Sephardic Jewish, Armenian, and Arab families. Its cause is unknown. Symptoms usually begin between the ages of 5 and 15 years, and include recurrent episodes of fever, abdominal and chestpain, and arthritis. Red skin swellings sometimes occur, and affected people may also suffer psychiatric problems. Attacks usually last from 24–48 hours but may be longer. Between attacks there are usually no symptoms. Although there is no specific treatment for familial Mediterranean fever, known sufferers can reduce the incidence of attacks by taking colchicine. Death may eventually occur from amyloidosis, which is a complication of the condition.


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