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Understanding Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis -- the Basics

Types of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis continued...

The main difference between juvenile and adult arthritis is that some children with JRA outgrow the illness, while adults usually have lifelong symptoms. Studies estimate that by adulthood, JRA symptoms disappear in more than half of all affected children. Additionally, unlike adult rheumatoid arthritis, JRA may affect bone development as well as the child's growth.

Another difference between JRA and adult rheumatoid arthritis is the percentage of people who are positive for rheumatoid factor in their blood. About 70% to 80% of all adults with rheumatoid arthritis have rheumatoid factor, but fewer than half of all children with rheumatoid arthritis are rheumatoid factor positive. The presence of rheumatoid factor indicates an increased chance that JRA will continue into adulthood.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on May 05, 2013

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