Am I at risk for RA if my parent has Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Certain genes involved in immune system responses are associated with a predisposition for developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), although there is no single "rheumatoid arthritis gene." People with RA are more likely to have human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes than people without the disease, and other genes also play roles in the development of RA. Having any of these genes is no guarantee that you'll develop RA (in fact, many individuals with this common gene do not develop the disease); likewise, the absence of these genes doesn't rule out the possibility of developing the disease. It appears that a person's genetic makeup is an important part of the story, but not the whole answer.
If your parent has rheumatoid arthritis you may be at increased risk of developing the disease, but it is not guaranteed that you will have RA. There are certain genes, which may be passed down to you from a parent, which give you increased risk. However, not everyone who has these genes will develop rheumatoid arthritis. Of 100 people with a parent or sibling who have RA, only about 4 will develop the disease. 

Continue Learning about Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes & Risks

Are You at Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Are You at Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
As you get older, it's normal to feel occasional joint pain or stiffness that comes and goes, but what if that awful, early morning stiffness won't ea...
Read More
What causes a Rheumatoid Arthritis flare-up?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups are essentially times of increased disease activity. Generally, t...
More Answers
How can my diet choices influence rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
There has been a lot written about so-called arthritis diets, but no one food causes arthritis, and ...
More Answers
Who Is at Higher Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Who Is at Higher Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.