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Rheumatoid Arthritis – Causes

September 28, 2021


So the truth really is that we don’t know what the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is. We do believe it’s multifactorial. There are some genetic and environmental factors that play a role. With the genetic factors, we’ve looked at something called the HLA DR4 that could account for some portion of the genetic risk for rheumatoid arthritis. We know that there’s a familial risk. If you have a relative that has rheumatoid, certainly you could be at a higher risk for rheumatoid arthritis. However, there are people that have no family history of rheumatoid and they still develop rheumatoid arthritis. Environmental factors can also be a part. We know that smoking can worsen RA symptoms, sometimes bacterial infection or a viral infection can cause a rheumatoid arthritis flare. It’s believed that some infection in the gums can cause flare, or cause rheumatoid arthritis. So these are all factors that we believe play a part in rheumatoid arthritis, but we don’t really know exactly what brings on your first flare. And so there’s still a lot of ongoing research to figure why some patients have rheumatoid arthritis.

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