Arthritis (cont.)

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What are risk factors for arthritis?

The major risk factors for most forms of arthritis are genes that are inherited from ancestors. Trauma-related arthritis is related to the risk of injury from specific activities.

What are arthritis symptoms and signs?

Symptoms of arthritis include pain and limited function of joints. Inflammation of the joints from arthritis is characterized by joint stiffness, swelling, redness, and warmth. Tenderness of the inflamed joint can be present.

Many of the forms of arthritis, because they are rheumatic diseases, can cause symptoms affecting various organs of the body that do not directly involve the joints. Therefore, symptoms in some patients with certain forms of arthritis can also include fever, gland swelling (swollen lymph nodes), weight loss, fatigue, feeling unwell, and even symptoms from abnormalities of organs such as the lungs, heart, or kidneys.

Who is affected by arthritis?

Arthritis sufferers include men and women, children and adults. Approximately 350 million people worldwide have arthritis. Nearly 40 million people in the United States are affected by arthritis, including over 250,000 children!

More than 27 million Americans have osteoarthritis. Approximately 1.3 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

More than half of those with arthritis are under 65 years of age. Nearly 60% of Americans with arthritis are women.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/11/2012

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