Arthritis is a prevalent joint disease with more than 100 variants. Its most common symptoms include pains and swelling of the joints. In its more severe forms, the disease inhibits the movement of arms, legs, and other joints. It affects people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. However, women and older adults are more likely to have arthritis than other groups. Statistics show that approximately one out of five Americans are at risk of developing arthritis. Even today, medical researchers remain unsure of its exact causes, but there is evidence that genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors are important to consider.
There’s reason to believe in a link between the development of arthritis and genetic factors. Research shows that members of families where one or more people have arthritis have a higher chance of getting it than people without this family history. One study indicates that the possibility of developing rheumatoid arthritis increases by a factor for people the HLA gene. This isn’t to say that those who have this specific gene will definitely develop the disease. Many who have arthritis lack this gene. Scientists believe the presence of the gene makes patients more likely to develop arthritis, but it does not determine whether or not they will get it.
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