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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

Ask the Expert: I Have RA and My Husband Won't Help

In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our May 2011 issue, a reader with rheumatoid arthritis asked WebMD's rheumatology expert, Scott Zashin, MD, why her husband doesn't help her more.

Read the Ask the Expert: I Have RA and My Husband Won't Help article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 06, 2014
    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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