Includes a description of RA and incidence and prevalence of RA. RA is a serious and often disabling condition that can cause chronic pain, permanent joint damage, and loss rheumatoid arthritis and lungs joint function. Some research indicates that, instead of a single condition, rheumatoid arthritis may in fact be a group of different diseases that have several common features.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, RA is the second most common type of arthritis. 3 million people in the United States, and about 70 percent of patients who have the disease are women. Rheumatoid arthritis usually develops between the ages of 30 and 50, but it can occur at any age. In women who are of childbearing age, RA often improves during pregnancy, but symptoms may increase in severity after the patient gives birth.
In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 10 people with rheumatoid arthritis will develop ILD over the course of their disease, making it as deadly among people with RA as congestive heart failure. What Is Interstitial Lung Disease? Interstitial lung disease refers to a group of disorders characterized by inflammation and scarring of the lung tissue. In the case of RA-associated ILD, the scarring is caused when the over-active immune system attacks the lungs. When the scarring builds up over time, breathing becomes difficult, and patients may need lung transplants to regain function.