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Rheumatoid Arthritis - Cause

The cause of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is not fully understood. Genes play a role, but experts don't know exactly what that role is. For most people with RA, the disease doesn't run in their families and they don't pass it along to their children. One or more genes may make it more likely that the body's immune system will attack the tissues of the joints. This immune response may also be triggered by bacteria, a virus, or some other foreign substance.

Other causes of joint pain include osteoarthritis, lupus, and gout.

Recommended Related to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Work, and Disability

Nancy Hardin, age 71, of Dyersburg, Tenn., was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) 11 years ago.  A few months after her diagnosis, she quit her teaching job at a local high school because she could barely walk. Then she started taking the biologic drug Remicade and became nearly symptom-free. Nevertheless, she decided that going back to the classroom would wear her out. She did, though, become a volunteer translator for local Spanish-speaking immigrants and a member of the Tennessee Council...

Read the Rheumatoid Arthritis, Work, and Disability article > >

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 08, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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