February 1, 2010 --
A blood test can predict rheumatoid arthritis long before a person notices symptoms. Doctors in Sweden say they have identified several elements whose levels increase significantly as much as several years before the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.
People who receive an early and accurate diagnosis and immediately begin treatment are more likely to lead an active life and less likely to suffer joint damage which leads to joint replacement.
The study appears in this month's issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism.