Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is a chronic inflammatory form of arthritis and an autoimmune disease. RA can affect many tissues and organs in the body, but it primarily attacks the joints, sometimes leading to permanent disability.

Who gets RA?

If RA goes untreated for 2 years the majority of people will develop joint erosion, indicating disease progression1

1.5 million adults in the US have RA1

3X as many women as men have RA1

The average time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis is 6-9 months1

What does RA look like?


What are some warning signs?

The symptoms and course of RA vary from person to person and can change on a daily basis, but may include1:

Swelling/Warmth/Redness at the affected joints


Low grade fever

Loss of appetite

Joint stiffness in the morning


1Arthritis Foundation. Arthritis Foundation.http://www.arthritis.org/ [Last accessed: December 19, 2016].

2American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis.http://www.assh.org/Public/HandConditions/Pages/ArthritisRheumatoidArthritis.aspx [Last accessed: December 19, 2016].

3American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle.http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00163 [Last accessed: December 19, 2016].