Rheumatoid Arthritis – Patient Education Overview

Rheumatoid arthritis (or RA for short) is a long-term autoimmune disease. The immune system confuses foreign substances with healthy tissue causing the body to attack itself.

The condition leads to chronic joint inflammation but can also affect both surrounding tissues of the joints and other organs.

While more common in adults, rheumatoid arthritis can affect both adults and children. In adults, doctors classify all RA as Adult Onset, although treatment is individualized.

In children, there are three main subcategories of Juvenile RA that doctors recognize listed below in our rheumatoid arthritis guide.


Pauciarticular Polyarticular Systemic – Still’s Disease
Most common form in children – about 50% of cases.Invloves 1-4 joints. Usually includes only large joints.

Mainly found in girls under 8 years old.

Occurs in 30% of cases.Involves more than 4 joints. Usually includes large and small joints

Usually occurs symmetrically in the body.

20% of JRA cases.Categorized by inflammation surrounding the lungs and heart, swollen lymph nodes and joints, and high fevers.


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