Why Rheumatoid Arthritis is more common among women than men

Why Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is more common among women than men

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) – also known as Gathiya – is a dreadful disease that can cripple a person’s life. Many find it surprising to know that the prevalence of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is higher among women as compared to men due to hormonal imbalance.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints which can happen to anyone irrespective of their age and gender. More often it is common among people after middle age or old age.

As per the study, Rheumatoid arthritis is more prevalent in women than men and the chances of the disease increase with age.

According to the doctors, the reason behind the prevalence of arthritis in women could be hormonal changes. To date, the exact cause is yet to be determined. Many women with rheumatoid arthritis go into remission during pregnancy. Why hormonal influence plays a role in the disease like Arthritis is still unclear.


Causes of the Prevalence of Arthritis in women as compared to men:

Women are more prone to autoimmune diseases and Arthritis and Lupus are among them. Hormonal influence plays a big part in the disease like arthritis. Hormonal changes are more in women due to menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause due to which the chances of the disease increase more in women.

Changes in hormone levels may affect the level of proteins in the blood that contributes to inflammation. Environmental and genetic risk factors could also lead to more prevalence of the disease in women.

Female hormones play a role in the onset of the RA. Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and androgens influence the development of RA.


Different states in the life of women that could lead to RA:

Women tend to develop RA at a younger age than men, with symptoms typically appearing between the ages of 30 and 50.

  • Women who have been pregnant are less likely to develop RA than those who have not. If a woman who has RA becomes pregnant, she may experience fewer symptoms of the disease during pregnancy.
  • Women have a higher risk of developing RA in the first year after giving birth. This may be due to the rapid change in hormone levels in the body at this time.
  • Estrogen levels tend to decline after the age of 40. Women have a higher risk of developing RA after 40, and those who experience early menopause are also more at risk. RA that occurs after the menopause may progress more quickly.
  • Women who have endometriosis may be more at risk of developing RA.
  • Anti-estrogen medication can help treat infertility, breast cancer, and osteoporosis after menopause. Depending on the dosage, this medication may increase a woman’s risk of developing RA.
  • Around 20 percent of women who have RA may develop rheumatoid nodules. These are firm, raised lumps underneath the skin.


After 40 years of decline (during the years 1955 to 1994), the incidence (frequency of occurrence) and prevalence (total number of cases in a given population) of rheumatoid arthritis among women is rising. From 1995 to 2005, the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis among women was 54 per 100,000 compared to 36 per 100,000 for the previous 10 years.

For men, the incidence was stable at 29 per 100,000. Researchers concluded that an environmental factor could explain the reverse trend for women.


What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a term used in medical terms for Joint pain or Joint disease. Several people misunderstand the actual meaning of the disease. There are more than 100 types of arthritis that can happen to anyone irrespective of their age and gender.

The symptoms of the common Arthritis are inflammation, swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion in joints. The intensity could be low, moderate or severe.