Video Q & A:

RA 101

Question:

Who gets rheumatoid arthritis?

Expert:   Harry D. Fischer, MD, Chief of Rheumatology, Beth Israel Medical Center New York »

Some groups of people are susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis than others. Watch this video to find out if you're in the high-risk group.

Transcript: About 1.3 million Americans have rheumatoid arthritis. And many of them are younger than THIRTY! That’s right. Although rheumatoid arthritis commonly starts between the 30s to 60s, depending on your sex, it can develop in anyone, even children. There is NO surefire way to avoid the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. Your risk goes up if you have a family history of RA, but doctors believe that you’re inheriting a predisposition to it, NOT a gene for the disease itself. Studies have shown that heavy, LONG TERM smokers have a higher risk of developing RA. Cutting out cigarettes MAY prevent the disease, but since no cause-and-effect relationship has been proven, even this isn’t a dependable preventive technique. RA isn’t particular to any one ethnic group—anyone can develop this condition. But like other autoimmune diseases, more women than men develop this disorder—in the case of RA, women are 50-75 percent more likely to have it. If you are diagnosed with RA, remember, you CAN manage the disease successfully using the treatments and therapies available. To learn more about rheumatoid arthritis, check out other videos in this series! More »

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