Rheumatoid arthritis is often symmetrical, with the same joints being affected on one side of the body as the other. Like other types of inflammatory arthritis, it has a range of symptoms. Some people have very mild symptoms, some more severe. Some people have near-constant symptoms, others have more defined flares and remissions.
Rheumatoid arthritis can be diagnosed at any age but most commonly develops between 30 and 50. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the more common types of inflammatory arthritis affecting 1.2% of people over the age of 16 in Canada.
As with other types of inflammatory arthritis, diagnosis takes into account many factors. Symptoms, personal and family history, and blood work are all considered when considering which type of condition to diagnose.