What is Rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that your immune system attacks the cells that line your joints making them swollen, stiff and painful. Over time this can damage the joint, cartilage and nearby bone.
How common is Rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis affects around 580,000 people in England and Wales. It is three times more common in women than in men. Whilst it is more common from the age of 40, it can affect people of any age, and gets worse with age.
What are the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain, particularly in the morning, stiffness, and warmth and redness around the affected joint. The symptoms usually start in the small joints like fingers and toes, and develop gradually.
How is Rheumatoid arthritis treated?
The aim of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is to reduce inflammation in the joints, relieve pain and reduce disability. Treatment usually includes lifestyle changes, drug and non-drug treatment and surgery.
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