What is Rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a debilitating autoimmune disease that hinders the daily activities of sufferers. RA occurs when the immune system inappropriately attacks joint tissue, causing painful chronic inflammation and irreversible destruction of cartilage, tendons and bones, often resulting in disability.
Who gets Rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis is 2 to 3 times more common in women than men (NIH, The National Women's Health Centre, 2004). While risk increases with age, arthritis is not limited to the elderly, more than one-half of the people who reported having arthritis were under age 65.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis
Common RA symptoms include inflammation of the joints, swelling, fatigue, stiffness and pain. Additionally, since RA is a systemic disease, it can have effects in other tissues such as the lungs, eyes and bone marrow.