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Who is most affected by rheumatoid arthritis?

The progress of rheumatoid arthritis cannot be predicted. The most serious damage caused is generally within the first 10 years of the disease's onset. Medical treatment can slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and may help many people, but for some people, the disease is harder to treat. People who seem not to respond as well to treatment include those for whom onset occurred at a later age, cigarette smokers, those who have rheumatoid nodules (hard bumps under the skin), and/or Caucasian women. If 20 or more joints are inflamed at once, the disease is also harder to treat.

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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.