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Can rheumatoid arthritis be prevented?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Preventing rheumatoid arthritis is, at this time, unlikely, since its cause remains unknown. Some factors increase your risk (like gender, genetic predisposition and being in a higher-risk age group). None of these factors can be avoided or controlled. But one factor that does increase your risk of rheumatoid arthritis, smoking, can be avoided. Stopping smoking (or better yet-never starting) will lower your chances of contracting rheumatoid arthritis.

Genetic, environmental and hormonal factors probably all play a role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, there is no known way to prevent RA. Cigarette smoking is one environmental risk factor for RA that you can avoid.

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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.