Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a auto-immune disease. This means that in this disease the defence system of our body goes wrong and begins to recognise the tissues of the body as foreign invaders. Now it begins to attack and destroy its own tissues.

Any tissue of the body can be attacked but most commonly the synovium (tissue lining the inside of the joints) is involved in this process.

How common is this disease?

This disease

  • involves approximately 1 person in every 100 to 150 through out the world
  • women are affected thrice as often as men
  • majority of people with the disease are between 35 to 50 years of age
  • with increasing age men and women are equally affected

rheumatoid arthritis

Genetics is also involved in the development of this disease. The disease is seen with increased frequency in blood relatives of patients.

Increased frequency and severity of disease is seen in people with HLA DR4 and HLA DR1. HLA stands for human leukocyte antigen or human major histocompatibility complex. This is a part of the chromosome number 6 and it has important role in the immune system.

The cause of this disease has been widely researched. Many factors have been analysed. Learn more about what causes this disease.

The synovium which is the inner lining of joints becomes inflamed in this disease. What leads to this inflammation is dealt with in pathology and pathogenesis.

How does the disease develop? What are its symptoms? Know more about the clinical features.

Certain criteria and blood tests are crucial in diagnosing and monitoring the progress of the disease. Learn how investigations help doctors and patients.

Treatment of this disease requires the use of many different types of drugs. Some are used to control the the symptoms where as some control the disease process.

Prognosis depends upon a number of factors. Early and aggressive treatment results in a better out come.

This disease causes many deformities. The hand is involved usually. Know about the different hand deformities caused by this disease including their treatment and prevention by clicking here.

I hope the information provided about rheumatoid arthritis was helpful. If you have any query you can ask me at the contact me page.

This page was last updated on 31st March 2009.

RA Cause

RA Pathology

RA Symptoms

RA Diagnosis

RA Treatment

RA Drugs

RA Prognosis

Hand Deformities

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