Rheumatoid arthritis causes
Doctors are not sure what causes RA, although genetics and bacterial/viral infections may play a role. However, smokers, persons between the ages of 25 to 50, and women are most likely to have rheumatoid arthritis. Women are up to 3 times more likely than men to have rheumatoid arthritis.
The duration of rheumatoid arthritis can vary significantly, from a few months, to a few years, or even a lifetime. Rheumatoid arthritis that lasts for a lifetime can damage the joints significantly, and can affect larger joints such as the hips, shoulders, and jaws. Long lasting damage can include deformities.
Rheumatoid arthritis is typically chronic, meaning that it lasts for a long time. But people with RA can experience arthritic flare-ups, in which the symptoms of arthritis become suddenly worse. How can you tell if you have rheumatoid arthritis, versus a small amount of joint pain from exercising too much? Read here to learn more about the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis in the RA Symptoms section.