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"What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints that causes stiffness, swelling and tenderness. There are more than 100 types of arthritis. So, symptoms can vary widely depending on what type of arthritis you have and how severe it is.
Two of the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They both involve the breakdown of cartilage, but the cause of the breakdown is different.
Osteoarthritis is a disease that typically involves age-related wear and tear of the cartilage that slowly progresses over many years before joint damage begins. Although, infection or injury can speed up the natural breakdown of cartilage. An estimated 27 million Americans are affected by OA.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease of the synovium that mistakenly invades and destroys joints in the body, which can eventually cause the destruction of the bone and cartilage inside the joint. Most people with RA start developing joint damage within 2 years. But, some people may start experiencing joint damage as early as 3 months after the onset of RA symptoms. Approximately 1.5 million U.S. adults have RA.
Who Can Develop Arthritis?
Arthritis is a very common condition that affects over 3 million Americans of all ages per year. Even children develop arthritis, including newborns. Genetic markers in your family history can increase your risk of developing arthritis."

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