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.