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Juvenile arthritis is a general name for several different kinds of arthritis in children. Most forms are believed to be autoimmune disorders, where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues.

Juvenile arthritis affects less than 1% of children and is more common in girls than boys. It may cause significant pain, disability and restrictions in school and other activities.

Limited national statistics make it difficult to evaluate the full impact of this condition on affected children and those who care for them. Although the information presented here focuses on arthritis in children aged 0 to 15, children may enter adulthood with the condition.

This information was last updated in December 2016.


increase in the rate of hospitalisations for children with juvenile arthritis, from 2005–06 to 2014–15—girls accounted for most of this increase.