QUESTION & ANSWER
What causes rheumatoid arthritis?
The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not known, but it is classified as an autoimmune disease, in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissues. This results in inflammation that can eventually destroy joints and damage blood vessels and organs.
Rheumatoid arthritis risk factors include:
- Being a woman
- Having a family history of rheumatoid arthritis or autoimmune disorders
- Native American ethnicity