Rheumatoid Arthritis usually affects your joints, causing pain, swelling and stiffness, but it can also affect your organs including your lungs, heart and eyes.
It can affect people of all ages, but the most common age for people to develop the condition is between 40 and 60. It’s also two to three times as common in women than men. 2
Anti-CPP and RF can be used to help detect rheumatoid arthritis, but the tests aren’t accurate for everyone. Around 1 in 20 individuals without rheumatoid arthritis will test positive for RF and not everyone with rheumatoid arthritis will have raised anti-CPP levels. Positive test for both RF and anti-CCP may be more likely to have severe rheumatoid arthritis requiring higher levels of treatment. 3
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning your immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of your joints (the synovial lining). This damage to the lining of your joints causes inflammation, leading to symptoms of pain, swelling and stiffness. People with rheumatoid arthritis tend to have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke; with the availability of sophisticated therapies and drugs, it is important to diagnose and treat the disease early to avoid long-term damage.
1 Rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical Knowledge Summaries. January 2019: https://cks.nice.org.uk/rheumatoid-arthritis#!topicSummary
2 Rheumatoid arthritis in adults: management. NICE guideline [NG100]
3 NHS Rheumatoid arthritis. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/diagnosis/
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