Rheumatoid Arthritis (cont.)
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes
The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not known. Many factors are involved in the abnormal activity of the immune system that characterizes rheumatoid arthritis. These factors include genetics (inherited genes), hormones (explaining why the disease is more common in women than men), and possibly infection by a bacterium or virus. Other environmental factors known to increase the risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis include tobacco smoking, silica exposure, and periodontal (gum) disease. Medical scientists suspect that gut bacteria (those that normally inhabit the bowels) could be triggers for the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. This remains to be proven.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/11/2015
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