Rheumatoid arthritis: a joint venture

Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis, chronic auto-immune inflammatory disorder, joints


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic auto-immune inflammatory disorder, usually affecting the joints. Its prevalence is estimated at 0.3–1% in industrialised countries and areas of urban living.1-3 RA leads to functional disability, significant pain and joint destruction, and subsequent loss of income: in developed countries half of people diagnosed with RA are unable to sustain full-time employment ten years after diagnosis.4 It also carries substantial cardiovascular risk if inadequately treated. RA is possibly the largest cause of treatable disability in the Western World.5 The exact prevalence of RA in South Africa is currently not known, but its significant impact is compounded by frequent late diagnoses and a scarcity of treating specialists.6-8

Author Biography

E Potgieter, Synexus Clinical Research Ltd

Synexus Clinical Research Ltd, South Africa