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How does rheumatoid arthritis happen?

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Rheumatoid arthritis happens when your body’s defenses -- your immune system -- targets your joint linings. It’s a long-term condition that also affects other tissue, but the joints are usually the most severely affected. This is different from osteoarthritis, a condition caused by wear and tear on joints.

SOURCES:

American College of Rheumatology: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Arthritis Foundation: "Frequently Asked Questions about Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Current Rheumatology Reports: "Treatment Strategies in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis and Prevention of Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Mayo Clinic: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Medscape: "Periodontal Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases: "What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?"

McIlwain, H, MD and Bruce, D, PhD. Marlowe, 2007. A Diet for a Pain-Free Life,

Reumatologia Clinica: "Tobacco and Other Environmental Risk Factors in Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Reviewed by David Zelman on June 6, 2018

SOURCES:

American College of Rheumatology: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Arthritis Foundation: "Frequently Asked Questions about Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Current Rheumatology Reports: "Treatment Strategies in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis and Prevention of Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Mayo Clinic: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Medscape: "Periodontal Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases: "What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?"

McIlwain, H, MD and Bruce, D, PhD. Marlowe, 2007. A Diet for a Pain-Free Life,

Reumatologia Clinica: "Tobacco and Other Environmental Risk Factors in Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Reviewed by David Zelman on June 6, 2018

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What happens as rheumatoid arthritis develops?

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