Expert Advice: Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

Get expert answers to some of the top questions about rheumatoid arthritis.

Health Monitor Staff
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Researchers have identified a cluster of genes that may be responsible for RA. What does this tell us about the disease?
Your environment, genetic background and clinical presentation are all important factors in your RA. Even if you have a genetic background predisposing you to the disease, it would still require an environmental trigger for you to get the disease.

For example, we know smoking is a factor in the RA disease process. Does it cause RA? No. Are there smokers who don't have RA? Of course. Are there people with RA who never smoked? Yes. We can't say smoking is a cause of RA; it's just a factor. It's good that we are working to better understand the genes involved in RA, but genes are not the whole story.

April 2013