Causes and risk factors for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Reading time: 1 min

The specific cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown. Although the exact mechanisms involved in this disease have not yet been determined, a number of associated factors have been identified. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis develop antibodies, immunoglobulins, months or even years prior to the onset of symptoms. These are clearly related to the disease and associated with its most severe forms.   

The factors most closely linked to an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis are: 


Smoking. Smoking causes a number of changes in the proteins of the airways and lungs that promote inflammatory processes. This leads to the subsequent development of autoantibodies and then to arthritis. 

Periodontal disease as cause or risk factor of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Periodontal disease. This is an infection of the gums that damages soft tissue and can destroy the bone that supports the teeth if not treated.  

How does tobacco and physical exercise influence the development of arthritis?

Substantiated information by:

José Alfredo Gómez Puerta
Marta Bassas
Núria Sapena
Raimon Sanmartí Sala

Published: 21 January 2021
Updated: 21 January 2021

The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.


Receive the latest updates related to this content.

Thank you for subscribing!

If this is the first time you subscribe you will receive a confirmation email, check your inbox

An error occurred and we were unable to send your data, please try again later.