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Rheumatoid Arthritis and Age Factor of Autoimmunity Case Study

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Updated: Nov 27th, 2020


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition that is associated with chronic inflammatory polyarthritis. The symptoms of any immunological inflammatory syndrome can be detected in several body joints. The effect of rheumatoid arthritis spreads over five or more joints. The synovial membrane is the first part of the body that feels the impact of any immunological disorder. It is from this part that the condition spreads to other body parts.

This paper narrows down to investigate the means through which age, at the onset affects the results of autoimmune maladies. Several of these conditions are affected as the effect cuts across the age bracket to affect children, the adult and the elderly. The article under analysis in this paper was written by four authors with diverse knowledge and skills in the field of human health. The paper reviews how the age at onset affects various immune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis. The article analyzed is “How Age at Onset Influences the Outcome of Autoimmune”, written by Manuel, Amador, Rodriguez and Ortiz (2011).


Immunological disorders are the conditions that come about when the immune system attacks itself. The antibodies that are supposed to fight foreign pathogens turn against the body. This means that the immune system shows aggression towards its body tissues as if they are foreign pathogens. Autoimmune disorders consist of several conditions that are connected to different diseases and syndromes. Most of the people who are affected are women who entail more than half of the five percent of the total population that is affected (Frisancho & Rose, 2008).

With about five percent of the population affected by one or more conditions of the immunological condition, it means that the condition is prevalent and that is why a lot of time has been spent on analyzing the effects and causes of the syndromes. The effect of age on this conditions and especially rheumatoid has been delved into by several scholars among them Amador-Oataryo, Gladis Montoya-Ortiz, Manuel Alberto Rodriguez and Adriana Rojass-Vilarraga (Manuel, Amador, Rodriguez & Ortiz, 2011).

Some of these conditions of immunological disorders including rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome are closely related. Historically, three causes of rheumatoid arthritis that can be traced. They include polycyclic syndrome where the intensity of the condition changes during the course of the disease. Monocyclic condition occurs once, then that diminishes within a period of five years after the first diagnoses. This type of condition does not reoccur. The other cause is the progressive condition that involves rheumatoid arthritis increasing continuously since the first diagnosis. Inflammation of the synovial membrane erodes the surface of cartilage and bones and this could lead to permanent deformity.

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the causes of early mortality (Ballou, Khan & Kushner, 1982). It can also cause disability as well as interfering with the quality of the life of the affected individual in both the industrialized and developing countries. The age at onset is defined as the first time the symptoms of an immunological disorder are diagnosed. The symptoms that are first tested are very important especially in immunological disorders though at times they may be delicate.

The appearance of such symptoms comes during childhood, when people become adults and sometimes they are even seen in the late stages of life. What dictates the appearance of the symptoms is the age of the affected person.

Other opportunistic conditions such as the Duchene’s muscular dystrophy and atherosclerosis take advantage of the immunological infections to thrive. The opportunistic conditions are not in most cases related to autoimmune syndromes in origin.

The total impact of age at onset on all immunological conditions including rheumatoid arthritis cannot be sufficiently calculated. However, estimations are made basing on the consequences that are associated with the diseases for instance the treatment costs and the loss that result in the people affected failing to be productive. Furthermore, some of the conditions are chronic with devastating effects while others seem mild at the early stages but end up being fatal and thus calculating the overall accumulative costs to make up the loses is not easy (Bjorklund, 2010).

Age at onset is estimated to lead to loses of up to seventy billion US dollars alone on rheumatoid arthritis. The intensity of the effects can be seen from the calculated costs that are associated with the diseases. The effect of these costs have forced professionals do engage into extensive research to try to find solutions. It should be noted that rheumatoid arthritis is among the most expensive medical conditions to treat in the world today. Researchers mainly do research on this condition today from the therapeutic and gamut systems because the conditions have spread to cover a range of clinical and molecular observable facts.

Literature review

Autoimmune conditions are caused by among others the age at onset. This is an idea that various scholars have agreed on. Allan (2002) holds that several prototypes of illness affecting joints or muscles are related to antibodies and molecules. Clough (2006) calls this an autoimmune rheumatic disease. In this group, Fairweather, Frisancho and Rose (2008) include systemic lupus, systemic sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and sarcoidosis.

There are other groups of diseases that fall into this group that have mentioned by Fairweather, Frisancho and Rose (2008). Autoimmune thyroid diseases have features that are closely linked to rheumatoid arthritis. Considering the fact that rheumatoid arthritis affects people of divergent ages, various features are shared across all the conditions under study. The first similarity holds that all the medical descriptions are connected in an undeviating mode to the auto-antibodies. Allan (2002) says that research in this area has eliminated the differences that had persisted for a long time over the matter.

Studies conducted on the pathways were relevant in bringing consensus on the subject. Bjorklund (2010) points out that the second similarity that all the researchers agree on is that antibodies give their own production using several means. Cooper and Stroehla (2003) say that other assumptions that exist apart from the two basic similarities those researchers agree on. One of them is that autoimmune disease is closely linked to fever. By analyzing the impact of age at Onset on the outcome of autoimmune diseases, Clough (2006) states that the timing of age at Onset is irregular and the assumption lacks sufficient evidence to be justified.

Clough (2006) also explains that specific antibodies are developed randomly. The process of formation as stated by Allan (2002) is that, the existence of self-antigens makes it possible for the produced antibodies to swim in blood and end up being recognizable. Once they released in the blood however, they will permanently be observed. Cooper and Stroehla (2003) hold that, researchers are still in the laboratory trying to comprehend why the secretion of particular antibodies is allowed.

Other articles of study by Manuel, Amador, and Rodriguez & Ortiz (2011) mention that there are high chances that reverse control mechanisms in conjunction with self stimulation is responsible for the production of the specific antibodies identified above. This connects to the subject of discussion in the sense that there are reasons to believe that diseases or conditions associated with autoantibodies are purely idiopathic.

This simply means that the conditions cause themselves. Age at Onset and its influence on the immunological disorders that include rheumatoid arthritis can be analyzed with the understanding that autoantibodies have the ability to cause serious damage to the tissues or simply interfere with proper functioning of the tissues in several ways. Raising the rate of erythrocyte sedimentation (ESR) could easily cause inflammation. Inflammation could also be because of increasing the rate at which the C-reactive protein.

Allan (2002) points out that inflammation is specific to particular causal agents that include several cytokines and complement. The complexity of the issue relates also to the origin of the term. The name was used in reference to broad-spectrum conditions of arthritis that were considered chronic. All that was an assumption that has been researched upon and now there are confirmed reports that rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory arthritis describe particular conditions that are linked to autoantibodies. Rheumatoid arthritis impinges on the bursae, tendon sheaths and all joints. The condition is frequent among women where for every three women with the condition, one man is affected.

Lab Report

The article, how does age at Onset influence the outcome of autoimmune diseases was written by three authors who are Amador-Patarroyo, Gladis Montoya-Ortiz, Manuel and Alberto Rodriguez. All the authors were from the Centre for Autoimmune Diseases Research in the school of medicine and health sciences, Columbia. It was edited by Adriana-Rojas-Vilarraga. The authors begin by stating that immunological disorders affect various people who can add five percent of the world’s population (Bjorklund, 2010). The age at Onset which is the time the first the first symptoms appeared, depends on the type of the disease.

The authors quote reports from various sources showing that there are sixty-five percentile chances of patients suffering from the systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) will see the first symptoms between the age of sixteen and fifty-five. The elderly age of fifty-five and above will have a paltry fifteen percent of the disease. Twenty percent are different as they feel the first symptoms below the age of sixteen percentile (Cooper & Stroehla 2003). On the other hand, the symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis do not have a particular age but is documented that they are at the apex in their mid thirties.

The article begins by assessing the impact of age at Onset by looking at the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. The SLE condition is not selective of the people it affects depending on age as such any person of any age could be affected. An immunological disorder is prevalent among adults when compared to other age groups. The difference again in the age factor is that among children the condition has high morbidity compare to its presence among the elderly (Ballou, Khan & Kushner 1982).

The patients here have a high degree of suffering from renal diseases, pericardities, hematological alterations, and malar rashes among many other developments projects. Immunosuppressive therapies and prednisone are used in the process of treating the patients with the SLE condition. The effects of this condition among children include delayed puberty, growth failure, along with fibromyalgia. An adult has the highest risk of developing pulmonary diseases. The general complication is that patients diagnosed with the disease are very easily associated with whole life damage to disease flares and increases the mortality rate by twice the normal time (Bjorklund, 2010).


Age at onset differs among immunological disorders and so do their appearance. MS and SS are among the uncommon immunological disorders that affect children while those that do include the T1D. Age at onset that is diagnosed early is not always the best tool to project worse scenarios. Early age at onset is a worst prognostic feature for some immunological disorders. While in others, it does not have an important manipulation on the course of disease or no unanimous consensus exists (Cooper & Stroehla, 2003).

Improving the results of research requires that the health practitioners should have adequate information of the early age indicators as well as having educational and alteration support. The role played by genes about how the age at onset is involved in the varieties of immunological disease is crucial to doctors throughout the research exercise. The researchers showed more of this information by conducting tests among non-typical types of people.

Article Discussion

The presence of this condition can easily cause another form of the condition to be helped by the other immunological disorder. There are minimal chances that SLE could lead to proteinuria in children, arthritis, hemolytic anemia, and leucopenia. The paper also reiterates the potential of the condition to lead to the diseases including seizures, proteinuria, and cellular casts. Making early diagnosis translates into a better outcome.

This has to accompanied properly recognizing the manifestations that are very specific to age and in process go ahead to administer good treatment algorithm. The authors come to the conclusion that SLE is a complex condition that entails various polymorphic genes and environmental features for long and with time, they dictate the onset and of course. MBL2 is a gene that is believed to be one of the causes of age at onset that are responsible for influencing the outcome of autoimmune disorders (Ghezzi, 2004).

The most destructive form of immunological disorder to help the mother get treatment for rheumatic arthritis is systematic and chronic. The condition is more prevalent in middle-aged people but this does not mean the children and the elderly are spared. The categorization is very different in the sense that any person diagnosed with the condition below the age of sixty-five but more than sixteen years as the young condition while the children are considered children and those more than sixty-five years.

The biggest difference according to the three fellows is that they have different semiological characteristics. What was thought to a point of difference is that rheumatoid arthritis would not be destructed.

The elderly visitors do have a cuter onset of the patients. The joints feel some pain whose symptoms are closely related to polymyaglia. Other effects include intestinal lung disease, classical limb deformities, and other elements that are associated with the disease (Bjorklund, 2010). Clinical manifestations that are shared by different members of disorders are referred to as the juvenile idiopathic arthritis. They should read from his childhood trends before assuming that she is beyond control.


Allan, D. (2002). Conquering arthritis: What doctors don’t tell you because they don’t know. Louis: Shining Prairie Flower Pub.

Ballou, S., Khan, M. & Kushner, I. (1982). Clinical features of systemic lupus erythematosus Arthritis and Rheumatism. Oxford: Oxford University press.

Bjorklund, R. (2010). Arthritis. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark.

Clough, J. D. (2006). Arthritis: A Cleveland Clinic guide. Ohio: Cleveland Clinic Press.

Cooper, G. & Stroehla, B. (2003). The epidemiology of autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune Review Journal, 2(3), 321-331.

Fairweather, D., Frisancho, l. & Rose, R. (2008). Sex differences in autoimmune disease from a pathological perspective. American Journal of Pathology, 173(3), 600–609.

Ghezzi, A. (2004). Clinical characteristics of multiple sclerosis with early onset. Neurological Sciences, 25, S336-S339.

Manuel, J., Amador, Rodriguez, A. & Ortiz, G. (2012). How does age at Onset Influence the Outcome of autoimmune diseases? A journal of autoimmune diseases, 1(1), 1-7.

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