Updated 25 November 2016

Preventing rheumatoid arthritis

Can Rheumatoid Arthritis be prevented?


There is no known way to prevent rheumatoid arthritis.

Routine blood testing of family members is not advised. Smoking has been shown to be a risk factor for the development of RA, and persistent smoking in patients suffering from RA may predict a poorer outcome.

Some medical practitioners believe that a lack of vitamin D may predispose one to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

Read more:

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

Causes of rheumatoid arthritis

Reviewed by Dr Dr I C Louw, Rheumatologist/Physician and Dr A Halland, Rheumatologist/Physician, March 2007


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Professor Asgar Ali Kalla completed his MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 1975 at the University of Cape Town and his FRCP in 2003 in London. Professor Ali Kalla is the Isaac Albow Chair of Rheumatology at the University of Cape Town and also the Head of Division of Rheumatology at Groote Schuur Hospital. He has participated in a number of clinical trials for rheumatology and is active in community outreach. Prof Ali Kalla is an expert in Arthritis for Health24.

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