Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • 											Array
        [name] => A/Prof Leong Keng Hong
        [avatar] => https://thisquarterly.sg/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Prof-Leong-Keng-Hong.jpg
        [tiny_avatar] => https://thisquarterly.sg/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Prof-Leong-Keng-Hong-tiny.jpg
        [address] => Leong Keng Hong Arthritis and Medical Clinic
    6 Napier Road
    #04-18 Gleneagles Medical Centre
    Singapore 258499
    Tel: 6472 4337
        [id] => 2099
        [doctor_link] => https://thisquarterly.sg/doctors-panel/rheumatologist/a-prof-leong-keng-hong/
        [specialization] => Rheumatologist
        [specialization_id] => 38
        [specialization_link] => https://thisquarterly.sg/doctors_panel/rheumatologist/
  • August 1, 2022
  • 1 minute read

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most prevalent chronic inflammatory arthritis in Singapore, where it affects roughly 1% of the population or an estimated 45,000 individuals. Women between the ages of 35 and 50 make up the vast majority of people who acquire this condition, which is two or three times more likely than men. Children are also most likely to develop RA as well.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an Autoimmune Disease

With RA, your body is being attacked by your own immune system, which is supposed to protect you against foreign invaders (pathogens) such as viruses and bacteria. These foreign substances will spread through your joints and the tissue of your joints (synovium), causing inflammation, stiffness and pain. With over a million people suffering from this condition globally, RA not only leads to joint deformity but also to chronic pain, impairment and loss of mobility.

Cases of Rheumatoid Arthritis are Predisposed to Heart Disease

Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to a higher risk of heart disease and strokes, as studies show a possible increase in heart disease of about 60% one year prior to diagnosis. Aside from the joints, RA may also affect certain parts of the body such as the lungs, skin, blood, eyes and the vascular system.

Risk Factors of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Smoking has been found to significantly contribute to RA’s severity and likelihood of developing. Other risk factors that contribute to the development of RA include sex, age, obesity and genetics.

No Cure, But Treatment is Possible

Although RA still has no cure, there are effective treatment options such as medication, physiotherapy, and lifestyle and dietary changes that can reduce joint inflammation and the risk of joint damage and disability. 

The key to managing RA well is through regular, long-term visits to a trusted rheumatologist who can offer a personal and hands-on approach to treating the condition through a combination of medicines, physiotherapy and surgery (if needed).

Subscribe to the TQ Newsletter
For the latest healthcare and lifestyle offerings, subscribe to our newsletter