The Synovium is the primary site of the inflammatory process. When RA synovitis begins, a number of cells and lymphoid structures are mistaken as invaders and attacked by the immune system.
After the onset of symptoms, most patients show sign of joint damage in 3 to 6 months. After 10 years, 60% of people with inadequate treatment are unable to work.
RA can cost patients nearly $26,000 per year, while RA annual medication can add up to $15,000-20,000 per patient.
People are usually diagnosed between 30 and 60 years old, but the symptoms can present as early as childhood.
RA increases the risk of heart disease or stroke, because it can attack the pericardium (lining of the heart), and cause inflammation through out the body. The risk of heart attack becomes 60% higher one year after being diagnosed with RA.