Rheumatoid Arthritis: Numbers, Facts and Treatment

General Information About Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that primarily attacks the synovial tissues across the joints. Autoimmune diseases cause the body’s system that is immune to mistake its own tissues for foreign invaders, like viruses or bacteria. The disconnected immune system develops antibodies to seek out as well as ruin the “invaders” in the synovium.

RA is a systemic disorder, which means the entire body can be affected by it. It can harm organs, such as the lungs, the heart, or alternative tissues like ligaments, cartilage and muscles. RA causes pain that’s occasionally serious and long-term swelling, also long-term impairment can be caused by it.

Symptoms and Risk Factors

At the beginning of RA, you might see that little joints like toes and your fingers are bloated, stiff, or warm. These symptoms might come and go, and you might believe it’s nothing. RA flare ups can last a number of weeks or just a couple of days until they vanish again.

RA will change larger joints, including hips, shoulders, and knees, and the amount of remission will shorten. Joints may be damaged by RA within a couple of years of beginning. Sixty percent of individuals with RA that is treated are not able to work ten years after start.

Other symptoms related to RA include:

  • Exhaustion
  • low-grade fevers
  • pain and stiffness for longer than half an hour in the morning or after sitting
  • anemia
  • weight loss

RA can be difficult to diagnose as the kinds and seriousness of symptoms fluctuate from person to person. They’re also much like symptoms of other forms of arthritis, making identification potential.

The reason for RA is not known, however a variety of risk factors could bring, for example:

  • heredity
  • Surroundings
  • lifestyle (ex. smoking)

About the Treatment

For those who have been recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, studies demonstrate that other safer and less expensive drugs work just in addition to biologics, and that means you need to try those first. Included in these are nonbiologic DMARDs, like hydroxy chloroquine, minocycline, sulfasalazine and methotrexate. Additionally, your physician is also likely to urge pain relievers, like naproxen and ibuprofen, and corticosteroids, like prednisone.

You also ought to follow a fitness plan because studies demonstrate function improves in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis.



Out of every 100,000 individuals, 41 are diagnosed with RA every year About 1.3 million Americans have RA.

Girls are about two-and-a-half times more prone than guys are to get RA. Hormones in both sexes may play a role in activating or preventing it.

RA usually begins between the ages of 60 and 30 somewhat and in girls later in life in men. The lifetime danger of developing RA is three percent for guys and four percent for girls. Nevertheless, RA can strike at any given age—even little kids can get it. More than 300,000 kids have the juvenile form of the disorder.



RA raises the danger of cardiovascular disease or stroke, as it can assault the pericardium (lining of the heart). Danger of heart attack is one year than it’s without the illness after being diagnosed with RA.

Individuals with RA may prevent exercise due to joint malady, putting additional stress on the heart and risking weight gain. Individuals with RA are twice as likely to have problems with depression, which might be due to reduced freedom.

The damage RA can perform isn’t restricted to the joints. The illness may also change your:

  • heart
  • lungs
  • vascular system
  • eyes
  • skin
  • blood

Diseases might cause one quarter of deaths in individuals with RA.



RA can make easy tasks like getting dressed in the morning challenging and getting out of bed, let alone holding down a regular occupation. People who have RA are much more than likely to:

  • Shift professions
  • reduce their work hours
  • lose their occupation
  • Retire
  • be not able to discover a job (compared to individuals without RA)

RA prices $5,763 (in year 2000 dollars) per man who has the disorder every year. Yearly drug prices can reach $15,000 to $20,000 per patient treated with a biologic.

Along with the monetary costs of the disorder, the price of quality of life is high. Compared to those without arthritis, people with RA are:

  • 40 percent more inclined to report fair or poor general health
  • 30 percent more inclined to want help with personal care
  • twice as likely to get health-related action restriction