Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic auto immune inflammatory disease affecting mostly the joints as well as other organs. Genetic factors may play a big role in the pathogenesis of RA. Genes encoded within HLA DRB1 provide the most consistent genetic evidence. It is well recognised that HLA DRB1 shared epitope alleles largely influence development of seropositive RA and specifically Anti CCP positive disease. Smoking is a very important environmental factor. Other suggested environmental factors include obesity, silica dust, exposure to mineral oils and socio-economic class. Viruses and mycoplasma organisms may also be implicated. The highest prevalence is found among the Native American populations.
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Last date updated on June, 2014