Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one serious joint condition. It is an autoimmune disease that affects the ends of bones and makes movements difficult in arthritis patients. It is typically a painful and uncomfortable ailment that is thought to affect older people more than younger people. However, a study indicates that young people are also at risk.

Can young people develop rheumatoid arthritis?

Yes! According to a 2017 study evaluated by PubMed Central, RA affects 0.41 to 0.54 percent of the adult population.

In fact, RA was found to be an independent risk factor for several illnesses in a 2018 study by the Journal of Chinese Medical Association that included 52,840 participants, 10,568 of whom had the disease. It was discovered that young adults with RA may have a higher risk of cerebrovascular disorders (CVD), including coronary artery disease and stroke, and that this risk was 2.35 times higher in these individuals.

Watch your knees, ladies! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Now before you check out the symptoms of it, let’s first understand a bit about this condition.

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It mostly affects the bones and joints. Since the immune system attacks healthy cells in your body, auto-immune illnesses essentially cause swelling and inflammation.

In addition, the CDC claims that the eyes, lungs, and heart are among other bodily organs that are also affected by RA, posing additional difficulties for sufferers.

Also, read: 7 exercises to strengthen your knees and manage osteoarthritis

Health Shots got in touch with Dr Nikhil Iyer, Knee and Shoulder and Joint Replacement surgeon, Zen Multi Speciality Hospital, to find out what causes rheumatoid arthritis and symptoms that one should look out for.

Cause of rheumatoid arthritis in young people

The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown. But still, there are a few risk factors associated with it which can lead to this condition.

Dr Iyer says, “Nowadays, the causes of rheumatoid arthritis are commonly seen in youngsters. There are many factors behind its occurrence.”

Here, we tell you about some of the main factors:

1. Family history: If someone in the family has rheumatoid arthritis, one is at an increased risk of suffering from it.

signs of rheumatoid arthritis
Don’t ignore knee pain. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Smoking: Did you know that cigarette smoking raises the chances of rheumatoid arthritis in the younger population, mainly if there is a genetic predisposition for developing the disease.

Also, read: 10 things you shouldn’t do if you have arthritis

3. Excess weight: You will be shocked to know that people who are overweight or obese have a greater risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Signs of rheumatoid arthritis in young people

Rheumatoid arthritis affects people differently and can strike at any age. It is most common in women between the ages of 30 and 50. Early detection of warning indicators can reduce the likelihood that the situation will get worse.

Here are 7 symptoms to note, according to the Arthritis Foundation of India:

1. Pain, swelling, stiffness, and tenderness of the joints can interfere with one’s daily routine. One can be in immense pain and won’t be able to concentrate on the work.

2. Stiffness during the morning that happens due to not moving and sitting in one place.

signs of rheumatoid arthritis
Be careful of these symptoms! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Extreme tiredness and fatigue throughout the day can also be seen in many people.

4. Weakness that can lower your productivity at work.

5. Fever is also one of the signs of rheumatoid arthritis.

6. Loss of appetite is also a symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. Here, one will not feel like eating food.

7. If more than one joint is affected by pain, stiffness, and swelling, which typically worsen with time, then it’s arthritis.

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