Medical Questions » Arthritis Questions » Question No. 92
Question:I am 62 years old, and several of my friends have rheumatoid arthritis, and I do not want to catch it. How do you catch rheumatoid arthritis?
Answer:A This is not a disease that you catch, but one that develops for an unknown reason, although recent theories suggest a virus that acts in susceptible people may be the culprit. There is certainly an hereditary tendency, so if your parents or grandparents suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, you have an increased chance of developing the disease. It may develop at almost any age from childhood on, but is more common in women after the menopause. The tissue lining the small joints of the hands and feet are particularly severely affected, and this causes the swelling and pain associated with the disease. There is no evidence that diet or environment play any part in the development of the disease, and unfortunately vitamins and diet do not help the symptoms. Doctors can use medications to control (but not cure) most cases.
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