Lifetime Risk of Adult Rheumatoid Arthritis Determined

Mayo Clinic researchers have determined the lifetime risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and six other autoimmune rheumatic diseases for both men and women. The findings appear online in “Arthritis and Rheumatism.” “Prevalence and incidence rates existed, but prevalence figures underestimate individual risk and incidence rates express only a yearly estimate.” The adult lifetime risk in the United States of having some kind of inflammatory autoimmune disease is 8.4 percent for women and 5.1 percent for men. Based on year 2000 population figures, that means one woman in 12 and one man in 20 will develop one of the conditions in their lifetime. The authors consider that a substantial risk and say their findings should encourage more research on the value of early diagnosis and intervention for people with increased genetic risk of arthritis.