Inflammatory Arthritis

Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Run in Families?

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Arthritis is a common condition that causes inflammation to occur in the joints, causing mild to severe pain (among other symptoms). Despite the condition stereotypically being associated with the elderly, arthritis can impact anyone at any age, including children.

One form of the condition is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect individuals around the age of 30, however can begin at any time. Many people wonder if there is a relationship between family members having RA, and one’s susceptibility to developing it. This article will answer some commonly asked questions around `Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Run in Families?’ 

Is rheumatoid arthritis genetic?

Although there is some evidence to show that RA can run in a family, genes are seen as only playing a small role in the development of the condition. There is no significant evidence showing that RA is an inherited condition. 

Will I get rheumatoid arthritis if one of my parents has it?

If one of your relatives, be it a parent or one of your siblings has RA, it can increase your risk of getting the condition, however a study on Pfizer’s website found that this may only be by .3%. 

Do other factors affect one’s chance of getting rheumatoid arthritis?

Factors such as one’s age, gender, and lifestyle can all impact one’s chances of developing RA. 

1. Age

The risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis increases as one gets older. NRAS, the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, states on their website that most commonly, people develop RA between the age of 40-60 (and that this can be a bit older for men). 

2. Gender

Rheumatoid arthritis affects more women than men, by about 2-3 times over. Not only is RA more common with women, but the disease activity has been found to be worse in women as well. 

3. Lifestyle

One’s lifestyle can impact one’s susceptibility to getting RA. For example, if you are a smoker and have certain genetic markers, your risk of developing RA will be significantly higher than others. Living a healthy lifestyle is always going to be of benefit to your health. 

These are only a few factors that can influence one’s chances of developing RA. 

What are some tools to help me manage my rheumatoid arthritis?

There are many tools available to help individuals living with RA live more confidently with their condition. Here are a few that may be helpful to you.

  1. The My Arthritis App

The My Arthritis app is a great tool for those looking to better self-manage their condition. The app offers symptom trackers, medication/appointment reminders and a collection of great courses and content. It also is a great resource for news, articles and to hear about upcoming events. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play Store. Open this link on your phone to download it today! 

2. Ampersand Health Online Events

By being a user of the My Arthritis app, you are invited to regular, monthly online events. These events range from social meetups to ‘Ask a Clinician’ sessions, where you get to ask your questions to a Rheumatologist live. After you download the app, you will automatically be added to our mailing list and will receive invitations to register for events as soon as registration opens. Click here to view upcoming events we have scheduled! 

3. Articles/Written Resources

We have dedicated time to writing helpful and informative articles like this one, specifically for the arthritis community. Click here to view all resources. Think we’re missing a topic? Let us know by emailing today! 

4. NRAS Resources

The NRAS website is a great place to find more articles and resources on rheumatoid arthritis. Click here to visit their site.

We hope that this article was helpful to you. If you have any questions or would like to chat with us, please email today.

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