Risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common inflammatory from of arthritis. It is a systemic, autoimmune, chronic process that affects not only joints but internal organs as well.
Risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis do exist.
The first is genetic. RA has a familial component and genetic tests have shown linkages, particularly to the HLA-DR4 marker.
Besides this, other risk factors that have been identified include obesity (primarily in women), blood transfusions, and cigarette smoking.
The roles of pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and diet are not clearly delineated but obviously play some role.
By far, the biggest risk factor is smoking. What is even more disturbing is the recent suggestion that stopping cigarette smoking doesn’t reduce disease activity.
Bottom line: Avoid cigarettes.
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