When something harmful or irritating affects a part of our body, there is a biological response to try to remove it.  The signs and symptoms of inflammation show that the body is trying to heal itself.  But inflammation can also have a negative effect, arthritis. Sometimes the body triggers an inflammatory response when there is no infection to fight off.  Inflammation can lead to structural damage, functional damage, and pain.Arthritis is a general term for joint inflammation.  Inflammation is associated with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gouty arthritis.  It is estimated that 2/3 of the working population will have arthritis by 2030.  Currently 1.3 million Americans are effected by rheumatoid arthritis.

Inflammatory arthritis of the elderly have grown to a new interest because of their frequency.  There are however, some differences between arthritis of the elderly and when it is found in younger patients.

  • It is different for the elderly in how their bodies process medication and how medication affects their internal organs.
  • The liver and the kidneys both decrease in size in the years beyond age 70.
  • Metabolizing medications and excreting medications can be affected by the aging process.
  • Elderly onset Rheumatoid Arthritis (EORA) is the development of RA in persons older than 60 years.
  • It is characterized by acute onset, pronounced elevations in ESR, disabling morning stiffness and marked pain predominantly affecting the upper extremities.

 

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/arthritis-inflammation

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16544922

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/bhs_Beals_breakout_365071_7.ppt‎

http://www.mdnews.com/news/2011_11/05737_novdec2011_elderly-onset-rheumatoid.aspx