Rheumatoid Arthritis: Overview

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune form of arthritis, where the bodyís own immune system cells attack parts of the joints. It is more common in younger people (e.g. ages 25 to 50), whereas older patients tend to have osteoarthritis. The disease can also attack people in their teens, where it is usually called Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). Hallmark symptoms are joint pain, joint inflammation, joint redness, swollen joints, and so on. The early symptoms may be an inflammation of a single joint, or sometimes multiple joints are all affected at once. Other symptoms include mild fever and malaise. In some patients, a subtype called Stillís Disease may develop where infectious symptoms such as high fever, rash, enlarged lymph nodes and other symptoms may appear.

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