Family Rheumatoid Arthritis Stories: A Help or a Hindrance?


Some people who have rheumatoid arthritis are the only ones in their family with the condition. In other families, autoimmune disease is everywhere. Can it be helpful to have family members with the same condition or can of getting away? My new article on HealthCentral takes a look at this issue:

"Due to the interactions between genetic predisposition and other factors, it’s not possible to predict who will have RA and who won’t. That said, one of the greatest risk factors for developing RA is having a family member with the condition.

First-degree relatives of someone with RA — parents, siblings, children — are approximately three times more likely to develop the condition. As well, if one identical twin has RA, the other is up to 15 percent more likely to develop RA. For fraternal twins, the risk is less than 4 percent.

The Human Genome Project has made it possible to study huge populations of genotypes and researchers expect that the genetic picture behind RA will become much clearer in the near future. 

Meanwhile, can it be helpful to know what RA is like for other members of your family who have it, or will learning about their experiences get in the way of coping effectively?"

Read the rest of the article on family, RA and coping on HealthCentral.

Comments

Rick said…
I have always wondered if my mom would have had RA had she lived a bit longer. I know my grandmother always said she had RA, but she also claimed she had a TB, when in fact she had a TV. Sometimes family history is so complicated.

Now I am going to go change channel at my local medical lab. LOL