Rheumatoid Arthritis

By: CPMC Genetic Counseling Staff
Reviewed by: Dr. David E. Feinstein, DO, Cooper University Hospital

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a form of arthritis that causes painful swelling in the lining of joints. This swelling can eventually cause bones to wear away and joints to become deformed. Rheumatoid arthritis is different than osteoarthritis which is often caused by wear and tear, sports injuries or the normal aging process. Although all forms of arthritis can cause join swelling and pain, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune form of arthritis which means that the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the joints. In addition, the disease can also cause other problems in the body including fevers and fatigue. Although rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age, it most commonly occurs in individuals between the ages of 40 and 701.

How Common is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is 2 to 3 times more common among women than among men2. Click here to view the data. 

To schedule a free telephone consultation to discuss your CPMC results with a board-certified genetic counselor, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Learn more about Rheumatoid Arthritis, from symptoms to understanding your risk, through the links below.

Page References

1. Lee, Lancet 2001;358:903-11.
2. Myasoedova, et al. Arthritis & Rheumatism 2010; DOI 10.1002/art.27425.

Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Learn more about Rheumatoid Arthritis [ Learn More › ]

Risk Factors

Both genetic and non-genetic factors play a role in Rheumatoid Arthritis [ Learn More › ]


Reduce Your Risk

Risk-reducing behaviors for Rheumatoid Arthritis [ Learn More › ]

The CPMC Study

Learn how the CPMC Study identifies your risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis [ Learn More › ]


Educational Sessions

An educational video series on Rheumatoid Arthritis Learn More› ]