Rheumatoid arthritis affects up to 1% of adults.
It tends to be worse in smokers than in nonsmokers.
The only known risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis is a possible inherited factor in some families (genetic predisposition). A genetic factor may affect how the immune system functions, causing inflammation and eventual destruction of the membranes lining the joints.
- Firestein GS (2007). Rheumatoid arthritis. In DC Dale, DD Federman, eds., ACP Medicine, section 15, chap. 2. New York: WebMD.
- O'Dell JR (2005). Rheumatoid arthritis: The clinical picture. In WJ Koopman, LW Moreland, eds., Arthritis and Allied Conditions: A Textbook of Rheumatology, 15th ed., vol. 1, pp. 1165–1194. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Last Revised: June 11, 2010
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.