Rheumatoid arthritis affecting more young people than once thought, says Mayo doctor

Rheumatoid arthritis affecting more young people than once thought, says Mayo doctor

Doctors have largely thought of rheumatoid arthritis as a disease suffered by older patients, with symptoms typically appearing between the ages of 40 and 60. But Cynthia Crawson, a researcher and statistician at the Mayo Clinic, found that the probability of a young person being diagnosed with RA is much higher than experts previously thought.

 

In a recent research paper on RA in young people, Crowson says that there is a one-in-714 chance of someone in their 20s being diagnosed with RA.

 

RA is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints and nearby tissues. It commonly appears in the wrists, knees, ankles, feet, and fingers, but it can also impact the skin, eyes, and lungs.

 

The most common symptom of RA is joint pain, but stiffness and severe fatigue are often present too. In some extreme cases, the joints grow so swollen by disease they become virtually useless.

 

About 1.5 million Americans suffer from RA, according to data from the Arthritis Foundation, and the disease is three times more common in women than in men.

 

While there is no cure for RA, there are many safe treatment plans available than do not require prescription medications. They can involve steroid injections, epidural joint injections, and simple lifestyle changes.

 

With RA affecting more young people than doctors once expected, it is crucial for younger patients with RA to find a doctor who is aware of the challenges they face.

 

I know the difficulties posed by RA can seem daunting, but the right treatment plan can put you on the path to pain relief and restored function.

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