Alberto Donzelli and Alessandro Schivalocchi
Background: In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the immune system, which usually fights infections, attacks the joints by error, making them swollen, stiff and aching: over time it can cause severe disability. In order to contrast this illness, Medicine focused on early diagnosis in the belief that early care is important for prognosis. As it often happens, pharmacological treatments have overshadowed behavioural factors which importantly affect frequency and severity of RA, with underuse of their preventive and curative potential.
Materials and methods: Our review focuses on the main known risk and protective factors for RA as they emerge from the available literature. The reference period considered in our bibliographic research starts from 1991 to 2015.
Results and conclusion: Many preventive factors contribute to reduce the frequency and severity of RA as well as changing some risk behaviours. We have detailed all the available evidences for each of the relevant aspects in the prevention of RA. Clinicians should first consider suggesting changes in lifestyle, before prescribing pharmacological therapies in order to prevent insurgence of RA, reduce burden of disease and improve quality of patients' life.
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Journal of Vasculitis received 48 citations as per Google Scholar report