Causes of arthritis and psoriatic arthritis: Who is at risk for joint pain?
There are many types of arthritis, in general, and arthritis can strike anyone. But specific types of arthritis are more common in certain groups of people or in certain situations.
Here are some of the factors experts have identified as increasing someone's risk of psoriatic arthritis.
Anyone with psoriasis or a family history of psoriasis should stay alert to changes in his or her joints.
Who gets psoriatic arthritis?
Men and women are equally at risk for psoriatic arthritis.
Most people develop the disease between the ages of 30 and 55.
Like psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis is more common among Caucasians than African or Asian Americans.
Most people who have psoriatic arthritis either have been diagnosed with psoriasis, or have a family history of psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis.
Other health signals that indicate risk
- Seventy percent of people who develop psoriatic arthritis first show signs of psoriatic lesions on the skin.
- Other patients develop both skin and joint disease at the same time, or develop skin symptoms later.
- On average, joint disease appears about 10 years after the first signs of psoriatic lesions on the skin.
- Psoriatic arthritis can develop whether a person has mild, moderate or severe psoriatic skin lesions.
- People with nail pitting, separation of the nail from the underlying nail bed, or ridging and cracking, are more likely to have psoriatic arthritis.
What causes psoriatic arthritis?
Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are not fully understood. Genes, the immune system and environmental factors all appear to play a role, however.
Scientists have found certain genes that may indicate that an individual is more susceptible to psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.
It is thought that a physical trauma or other event such as an infection may trigger psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis in a person who has a genetic susceptibility, but this is not proven.