Health Risks Associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the commonly found forms of arthritis. It can cause severe pain, swelling, inflammation etc. at the joints. One of the main problems associated with this disease is that you cannot completely cure it. However, you can control the symptoms up to a limit by taking proper rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

If left untreated rheumatoid arthritis can affect your body in many other ways. It can be risky for other organs and systems in your body. Hence, it is important to take rheumatoid arthritis treatment before your condition gets worse. Following are some health risks that RA can cause if it is not treated properly.

Bone thinning

RA can dangerously affect your bones by thinning them that will eventually lead to a condition called osteoporosis. Also, because of the joint pains caused by RA, people can limit their movements and activities which will accelerate the thinning of bones and loss of muscle mass. If you encounter this situation it is important to take medication for bone strengthening along with rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

Lung problems

A small percentage of people with RA can develop interstitial lung disease. RA can also attack the lungs in addition to joints and cause scarring. If this problem persists for a long time, it can affect your breathing too. It can lead to breathing difficulty over time. Also, some medicines you take for the treatment of RA can increase the risk of interstitial lung disease. People suffering from RA can also develop inflammation in the lining of lungs which will make breathing painful.

Heart disease and stroke

People with rheumatoid arthritis have double the risk of heart disease than normal people at the same age. The inflammation associated with RA is thought to create this risk, in addition to this, some RA medications may also risk your heart health. Therefore, people with RA should take special care to eat foods that are healthy for your heart.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

This is a form of cancer that affects the lymphatic system of your body. RA increases the risk of this disease greatly. Along with this particular disease, other types of blood cancers and lymphoma can also be caused by rheumatoid arthritis.


Along with the disease, the drugs you take for RA can sometimes suppress your immune system making your body prone to infections. Hence, you can be at risk of easily catching some infectious diseases such as TB.


Some RA patients can also develop depression. Usually, the loss of independence, functional disability, and decrease in life quality, etc. caused by RA may result in depression.