Saturday, January 17, 2009 Lorrie B. Smith, Community Member, asks

Q: RA Factor blood test score.

I was just informed my RA Factor test was 72, whereas the normal range is 0-20. Is 72 significantly higher or would that be a number around 200-500? I'm very confused, please help.


God bless,

Lorrie Bensky Smith

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Answers (5)
Tennis Player, Community Member
1/18/09 9:26pm

I was just diagnosed this past June/July and my ra factor was 252.  I don't think the number itself determines the severity of the disease.  But I think the higher the number the more likely you are to have a "more severe" form of the disease.


There's also another test called anti CCP.  I think the normal range is 0-5, mine was greater than 100, for whatever it's worth. 


The sooner they can determine whether or not you have ra the better, so they can start you on meds.  I've read that irrecersible joint damage can happen within the first 12 months so they try to treat it aggresive on the front end.  I've been on meds now for about five months and am about to start a new one.


I hope this information will help you, I research this disease daily.  This web site has really helped me a lot.  Good luck....

Liz, Community Member
8/20/09 8:00pm

For what it's worth, I just found this on



It's cyclic citrullinated peptides. Citrullinated peptides are correlated with disease progression and activity. It becomes a marker of disease severity if it's present. Most healthy patients don't have CCP antibodies. The CCP is a sensitive test, and there are patients who may test positive for it that did not test positive for RA factor. Of course, a patient could test positive for both.

Tanya, Community Member
1/18/09 6:55pm

I am still in the testing phase for RA myself. My Rheumatoid factor came in at 160, my mother was diagnosed a year ago and hers was 110. What about your sed rate, did they check that? It seems that diagnosing RA is a complicated set of blood tests followed by more blood tests. The only thing they have put me on so far is ketoprofen, which i had never even heard of. It is a non steroidal medication for pain and swelling. I have also been very confused and frustrated by how slow the diagnosis seems to be going, but then patience was never my thing.  :)

Good luck to you!


RA victim, Community Member
7/16/09 12:20pm

My first blood test for RA showed a factor of 600 plus. The second blood test taken some months later came back reading 1100.  During my military service with the RAF I was duped into an experiment that involved inhaling Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) an endo toxin derived from Salmonella abortus equi at Porton Down England. There are indications - via lab research studies - that LPS is linked to RA and possibly Lupus. I have recently had surgery to remove a large rheumatoid nodule that formed on the underside of my forearm, which became stahp infected after the surgery. Having been to four rheumatologists I am as confused as ever for there is little joint disfiguration. The experiment at Porton Down was germ warfare related done for no other reason than to compromise the auto imunne systems of any potential enemy.

From a total of 115 airmen involved in LPS exposure - both injected and inhaled - only six servicemen including myself have ever been accounted for by the UK police in a five year criminal investigation. Can RA or Lupus be induced for military purposes, or by the security services ?  The answer is most certainly YES. 

Liz, Community Member
8/20/09 7:54pm

Hi Lorrie,


It is confusing.  I was diagnosed in 2007 with an RA Factor of 240.  As far as I understand, the RA factor (RF) doesn't measure the disease, but can reflect on how aggressively the disease can progress.


I don't know what my SED rate was then - the SED rate indicates the amount of inflamation in your system.  Normal for a woman my age, 58, is below 30.  Mine was 32 last year and is now 19.  I am feeling pretty good and only taking 200mg of plaquenil daily.  Nothing else. 


Sleep helps when I hurt.  SleedMD is a great non-addictive natural product that helps me do that at night when I am achey. 


I hope this helps, we are all learning.  SO are the doctors!

Karen Dely, Community Member
12/ 6/12 11:45pm

Hi--I feel for all of you.  I was a rheumatology patient for approximately 12 years, and became so anemic I felt I was dying.  Even with Methotrexeate and Plaquenil, my SED stayed above 100; and, many times my R. A. Factor stayed above 1,000. After all that time, I tested positive for Lyme; and while on antibiotics for Lyme those tests normalized.  Although I don't still have all the joint pains, (Many have been replaced.); I still have a great deal of fatigue and dryness.  Rheumatology is a farce in my opinion--with no real answers in sight.

Trina, Community Member
7/19/10 7:14pm

I was misdianosed for RA for over 10 years. My old doctor never tested me, just kept saying I had corpal tunnel. Finally wised up and my new doctor tested my RA Fator right away, which was 1000. 3 years later with a BUNCH of meds, it got down to 963. Well today I got my latest bloodwork back and it is 1208. I am 42 yrs old right now. Does this mean I will be crippled soon. I have chronic pain and fatique on a daily basis. I take Methotrexate, Playqunil, Enbrel injections, Lyrica, Folic Acid, Pain Med and Ambian. Yet I still suffer most days. I wish someone could help me as I am getting really depressed.

Living with it!, Community Member
10/ 6/10 6:53pm

Hi I know your post is over a year old, but when I read it I felt the need to reply.  I just turned 43 last month so we are about the same age.  I've been diagnosed with moderate/severe RA for 8 yrs.  I just had my ANNUAL visit with my rheumatologist and couldn't remember what the normal RA factor range was.  I say ANNUAL visit because that's all that I am required to go the last few years.  However in the beginning it was constant Dr. visits.  I too was worried that I would end up crippled and was put on several meds in the beginning.  I know the benefits of aggressive treatment in the early stages.  I was almost crippled within 3 months.  I had lost range of motion in one arm and could barely walk without assistance.  After 3 months I was given a steroid injection and even though I knew it was a short term fix I welcomed the relief.  As the 3 month injection began to "wear off" and the symptoms came back I discovered that less is more.  All the medications I was given at the onset of diagnosis were making me sick.  They weren't helping my joints and were definitely not helping my state of mind.  Looking at your list of med's I can understand your depression.  Methotrexate made me feel horrible.  And even though I know it is commonly added to our RA med cocktail my body treated it like the poison that it is.  It made me tired, I couldn't sleep and my hair was slowly thinning out.  The Ambian I was given was actually making the sleep deprivation worse because or the weird dreams.  I talked to my Rheumatologist and told him to strip my med list down to the bare minimum and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  I have been on Enbrel and Plaquenil ONLY for the last 7 years.  I take an over the counter Benadryl at night to help me sleep.  I take a fish oil supplement and a multivitamin that includes calcium.  My Rheumatologist says there are more advanced medications available than Enbrel, but don't try to fix what isn't broken.  So I'm staying on my current med's for another year unless I choose to make a change.  So don't give up.  Find a Rheumatologist that will listen to you and know that there are success stories out there.  I'm 8 years diseased and I still have a full time job and 3 teenagers at home! A positive attitude is sometimes the best medicine.  I'm sure you are sick of hearing that.  I know I was.  But it does help.  And remember it's OK to be tired and not be able to do as much as you did before.  Save your energy to do the things that make you the happiest ;o)


Wendy Severeid, Community Member
11/ 4/10 9:08am

You need to get to another Dr.  If you aren't getting relief on the drugs you are taking, they should be moving on to somehting else.  Sounds like you should try Biologic drugs.  I have had infusions for several years and have had almost pain free life.  Ask about Remicade or Rituxin.  These drugs saved my life.

Nannykat, Community Member
12/17/10 10:49am

You are absolutely right.  I was diagnosed 4 years ago with severe RA and it took a year for my doctor to get the right combo and doses of medication.  I'ver been on 8 methotrexate tables a week, plus 50 ml of Enbrel a week and 1 mobic tablet a day.  I have been in remission for 3 years now and hope to stay that way, although with this disease we never know.  Best thing is to find a doctor that can give you relief. My doctors the best I've ever had.

Tracy, Community Member
3/ 4/11 12:45pm

Be very careful with some of those meds your taking they can cause severe depression and mood swings I have known 3 people that where taking them and had to come off because they becoming another person one said she felt she was going crazy and she  could not find out what was going on she spoke to friend and they suggested she stop taking the meds. and see and it took about 3 weeeks but last time I talked to her she said she was just about to feel normal again..and make sure that you doctor is checking your liver often.. You are on a lot of very stong and can be dangerous drugs..

Mike Johnson, Community Member
4/30/11 11:15pm

I was misdiagnosed for 30 years. I am 48. It surfaced when I was playing baseball in high school. It was shrugged off as nothing but catcher's knees. I could no longer throw a baseball when it got to my right shoulder. A shortened carreer I guess you can say. Mine is down to 220 from 400. Not as high as yours. Wow. But I do have it in both shoulders, hands, knees, arms, neck etc... everywhere, and had no treatments for many years. I take baths with eucalyptus epson salts on regular basis. I insist on feeling better. Might want to do that. Use your favorite bubble bath with the salts.


Do you go on walks? Does exercise with the meds help? I don't know what my future holds, but I need to keep trying and dont give up. Go on your walks, take bubble baths, and hope you get better.


Michael - Seattle

johanna23, Community Member
5/ 2/11 4:34am

Hi Michael


I am 31 years old (female) and have just received a blood test with an RF reading of 535 IU/ml.  The reason for my test in the first instance was during a visit to a musculoskeletal specialist for ongoing shoulder pain I have had for the past 11 years.  I put this pain down to a snowboarding injury, but I am now scared that it is in fact Rheumatoid Arthritis and I don't know what to do.  I cannot get in to see a Rheumatologist until mid June and am fretting after reading all of the things online.  My specialist said he had never heard of Rheumatoid arthritis in the shoulder as a primary affliction but after reading your message, I am now wondering if this is where you experienced your primary pain.


I know you can't solve my pain, but I don't even know where to start on my journey or what this blood test result means.


ganddolph, Community Member
3/25/12 2:25am

I read your post and thought I would drop you a quick note.  I will be 42 on April 13 so we are really alot alike in many different ways.  Ten years ago I was tested and told that I had the ra factor but not to worry that was all that I had, meaning I didnt have RA.  However over the past 10 years my health has gone to the dogs.  I have had 3 major back surguries, now keep in mind before my first back surgury I was in picture perfect health.  I had NO health issues then it all started with my back.  Now my back is fused at L3 L4 and L4 L5 and L5 S1.  Then I developed diabetes, high bp, high cholesteral,gluacoma,fybermyalgia, ive had my right rotater cuff operated on, TWO hemerroid surguries Barrettes esophogus.  I am a chronic pain patient and also suffer from depression, and on and on, but now my RA factor is sitting spot on 200, I asked my doc to check my blood out because I was experiencing severe pain in my low back radiating aroundmy hips and down thru the front side of my pelvis and nothing would stop it,,, NOTHING!!!!!!! So now I go to see the Rhumatologist and get her take on this and how to fight it.I take SO MANY MEDS NOW that is is crazy, however my mom and my dad both had a high tolerance to pain meds and my doc (same as theirs) thinks that my SUPER HIGH tolerance is due to that fact I must take such high doses just to be able to function on a daily basis.  Even though I take a lot of narcotics some folks say I take them just to abuse them to get high, wel the only problem is I cant seem to get high  Drugs have never affe ted me that way all they do is keep the pain low enough so thatI can somewhat function  Anyway I to hope that they can do something for me so I wont be hurting more and more .  With all the pain I suffer thru now and more to come?  I also have a terrible time trying to sleep Lord help me! 

Jim, Community Member
6/13/12 3:19pm
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By Lorrie B. Smith, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/30/14, First Published: 01/17/09