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Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that is characterised by progressive joint disorder with significant pain and stiffness, which lead to functional disability and systemic complications if left untreated. The direct (health care costs) and indirect (productivity loss) socioeconomic costs of the disease are of major significance. The first evidence of RA was noted in radiological examination of skeletal remains of Tennessee Indians from as early as 4500 BC. The term “rheumatism” dates back to 1630 but in 1859, a physician named Alfred Garrod used the term “rheumatoid arthritis” to describe the disease as we know it today.
References and Further Reading
- Georgiadis AN, Papavasiliou EC, Lourida ES, Alamanos Y, Kostara C, Tselepis AD, Drosos AA. Atherogenic lipid profile is a feature characteristic of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis: effect of early treatment – a prospective, controlled study. Arthritis Res Ther. 2006;8(3):R82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Klareskog L, Stolt P, Lundberg K, Kallberg H, Bengtsson C, Grunewald J, Ronnelid J, Harris HE, Ulfgren AK, Rantapaa-Dahlqvist S, Eklund A, Padyukov L, Alfredsson L. A new model for an etiology of rheumatoid arthritis: smoking may trigger HLA-DR (share epitope)-restricted immune reactions to autoantigens modified by citrullination. Arthritis Rheum. 2006;54(1):38–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar