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Familial Mediterranean fever

A hereditary condition that affects certain Arab, Armenian and Sephardic Jewish families. The cause is unknown. Symptoms generally begin between the ages of five and fifteen years old, and include recurrent episodes of fever, arthritis, and abdominal and chest pain. Red skin swellings occasionally occur, and affected persons can also suffer from psychiatric problems. Attacks often last from twenty four to forty eight hours but can be longer. Between these attacks there are usually no visible symptoms.

Although there is no specific treatment for this, those known to suffer from the condition can lessen the chance of attacks by taking colchicines. Death can eventually arise from amloidosis, a complication of the condition.

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