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glossary:rheumatoid_arthritis [2012/10/16 14:40] (current)
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|+||(1) An autoimmune disease which causes chronic [[inflammation]] of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body [[tissue]]s are mistakenly attacked by its own immune system. The [[immune system]] is a complex organization of [[cell]]s and antibodies designed normally to "seek and destroy" invaders of the body, particularly [[infection]]s. Patients with these diseases have antibodies in their [[blood]] which target their own body [[tissue]]s, where they can be associated with inflammation. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid [[disease]]. While rheumatoid arthritis is a [[chronic]] illness (meaning it can last for years) patients may experience long periods without symptoms. |
|+||Rheumatoid arthritis is a major risk factor for heart attack as a study of 114,000 women indicated. The risk of a heart attack in women with rheumatoid arthritis was double that of other women.|