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What increases my risk for rheumatoid arthritis?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, but there are some factors that increase your risk. If your parents have rheumatoid arthritis, it is not certain that you will get it, but you are more prone to it. Women tend to get it more often than men do. The onset of rheumatoid arthritis is generally between the ages of 35 and 50 years old. One risk factor you can control is smoking. Quitting smoking will lower your risk.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects about 1.3 million Americans, mostly women. Two to three times more women have RA than men, and the number of women with the disease appears to be increasing. The age of onset can vary, but it typically occurs between ages 30 and 50, with the risk increasing as a person ages.

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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.