Rheumatoid arthritis exists as an autoimmune disease that affects the immune system, occurring when the body’s own antibodies attack its own antigens. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs “three times more often in women as compared to men,” and progressive symptoms include joint pain and inflammation. The condition flares up most commonly during the mornings.
According to Dr. Scott Anderson of Daily Republic, several compounded studies on rheumatoid arthritis have shown that the disease affects much more than just the joints in your body. Being more and more referred to as a systemic disease, RA has been linked to lung damage, stroke, and heart disease. The article chronicles the increased risk of patients who smoke cigarettes, but also points out that even non-smokers can find themselves at risk.