Similarities, Differences, and Patient Factors Between RA and OA While both rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) both cause damage and inflammation to synovial joints, RA is classified as an inflammatory joint disease and OA is noninflammatory. The disease pathway of RA is through an autoimmune response produced by an antigen, whereas OA is through age related wear and tear of the joints (Crowther-Radulewicz & McCance, 2017). RA and OA both lead to disabilities, but if RA is left untreated premature death can occur when tissues of the lung, heart, kidneys, and skin become affected (Crowther- Radulewicz & McCance, 2017). RA usually manifests with an acute onset with signs and symptoms of inflammation, fever, fatigue, weakness, anorexia, weight loss, aches, and stiffness (Crowther-Radulewicz & McCance, 2017). OA typically present with pain during movement,
walking, or with position changes and as the disease progress even the smallest movement or long periods of immobilization will cause pain (Koszowska, Hawranek, & Nowak, 2014). Gender plays a factor is both RA and OA. Even though RA and OA affect both men and women, females have a higher prevalence that males. However, the onset of age is different for each disease. RA can occur at any age, but the onset of OA is typically seen in people over fifty, especially women (Crowther-Radulewicz & McCance, 2017).
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