What causes rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The exact trigger is not known but it is likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Once triggered the immune system attacks the lining of joints, known as the synovium. This, in turn, leads to a series of events resulting in damage of the underlying bone and cartilage. The inflammation can also affect the skin, kidneys, lungs, heart and blood vessels, and other parts of the body.
Author: Jonathan Meddings
First answered: 26 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.2/5 Votes: 152