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Arthritis - rheumatoid arthritis

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Arthritis - Rheumatoid Arthritishot!Tooltip 02/08/2011 Hits: 18073
Rheumatoid arthritis, called RA for short, is an autoimmune disease which can affect people of any age; some 12,000 children in the UK have the juvenile form, although the most common age for developing rheumatoid arthritis is between 40 and 50. The disease affects three times as many women as men. Rheumatoid arthritis is often confused with osteoarthritis, a quite different condition, which is due to wear and tear of joints and more commonly occurs in older people. RA is also a systemic disease meaning it can affect the whole body including the lungs, heart and eyes, although thankfully this is not the case for everyone. RA is a chronic long-term condition, but for the vast majority of people this does not mean it has to have a long term devastating effect on their life.