There are many diseases that are more prevalent in women than in men. Some of these are common and well known and others are diseases most people are unaware of occurring so regular in women. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (2009), these diseases that are less likely to be known are referred to as “the hidden diseases secretly attacking women’s health.” One of these health conditions is called Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) which is an autoimmune disease that affects joint tissue causing swelling and pain. Statistics show that RA is significantly more common in women than men and that age plays a factor in the development.
The most common joints that are affected by RA are the feet, knees, ankles, elbows, wrists, and fingers. “The cause of RA is still unknown but is likely a combination of genetic factors interacting with inflammatory mediators” (Sue E. Huether, 2008). Overall the interaction between these two components causes significant cartilage damage due to many types of cells and compounds that become activating agents in degrading the surface of the articular cartilage. As the cartilage is damaged, it is digested by the synovium and then inflammatory molecules are released in response to the degradation. Inflammation causes swelling which creates the synovial membrane to thicken and the cells of the membrane to enlarge abnormally, vascular flow is interrupted and between the hypertrophy and lack of proper circulation the body experiences metabolic acidosis. Synovial cells react to acidosis and release enzymes that cause the breakdown of articular cartilage and inflames the surrounding tendons and ligaments.
Risk factors for RA include your sex, as women are 3 times more likely to develop this disease than men, your age, which can begin at any time but is most likely to occur between the ages of 40 and...
References: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014, March 15). Advancing women’s health and
safety. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/women/
Huether, S., & McCance K. (2008). Understanding Pathophysiology (4th Edition) Salt Lake City,
Mayo Clinic (2014, March 15). Diseases and Conditions Rheumatoid arthritis. Retrieved from
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