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released: 5 Mar 2009 author: AIHW media release

Rheumatoid arthritis is an often serious joint disease that affects around 400,000 Australians and is the second most common type of arthritis, after osteoarthritis. The disease is more common among females and in older age groups. The underlying cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not well understood but genetic factors play a key role (smoking also increases the risk of developing the disease). The disease reduces a person's capacity to work, with only 31% of those affected in fulltime employment in 2004-05 compared with 53% of the general population. This report provides information on other symptoms, effects and treatments, as well as looking at prevention.

ISSN 1833-0991; ISBN 978 1 74024 889 1; Cat. no. PHE 110; 28pp.; Internet only

Full publication

Publication table of contents

  • Preliminary material
    • Title and verso page
    • What this booklet is about
    • Contents
  • Body section
    • Key facts about rheumatoid arthritis
    • What is rheumatoid arthritis?
    • Who is affected?
    • Who is at risk?
    • Health and social outcomes
    • Mortality
    • Treatment and management
    • Health-care services and other support
    • Health spending on rheumatoid arthritis
    • Where to get more information
  • End matter
    • References
    • Figure notes

Recommended citation

AIHW 2009. A picture of rheumatoid arthritis in Australia. Arthritis series no. 9. Cat. no. PHE 110. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 24 November 2014 <http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=6442468219>.