Who Gets RA?
Well, women for starters, but men can get it, too. Here's what else to know about RA risk factors.
Rheumatologist Susan M. Goodman, M.D., attending physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, discusses how genetics, your occupation, and even your environment can play a role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
The people who are most susceptible to getting RA are middle-aged people, typically women, three quarters of the cases are women, but men can get it and men frequently get a more severe case. What's interesting about rheumatoid arthritis is that although there's a strong genetic component, about 30 percent of the risk is genetic.
The rest of it is conveyed through the environment. If you have the genetic risk and you're a smoker, your risk is much higher than if you weren't a smoker. Similarly, obesity and certain occupations, none of which are that common in this area, but things like coal mining, also increase your risk.