RA in America -Symptoms by the Numbers

The RA diagnosis and disease management journey can often feel overwhelming, particularly when the number of symptoms increases over time. Are you curious to know how your experience compares to that of others in the community? Here are some results from our RA in America survey:


The average number of significant initial symptoms experienced by individuals diagnosed with RA. Hand / wrist pain is the most commonly reported initial symptom (73%), followed by fatigue (59%) and general stiffness or soreness (58%).


Percentage of those surveyed who started experiencing RA symptoms before turning 35; 11% of which started experiencing symptoms before reaching adulthood.


Number of individuals with RA who completed the online RA in America 2014survey, which gathered information about their symptoms and diagnosis journey, as well as their quality of life and treatment experience.

5 or more

Office visits with a healthcare professional had to be made by 43% of individuals regarding their symptoms, before being diagnosed with RA. Only 14% of individuals were diagnosed within a single office visit.


Percentage of respondents who are in full agreement with their healthcare professional as to the severity of their RA and RA symptoms; whereas only 6% are in disagreement.


The average number of symptoms experienced most frequently by those surveyed. Similar to initial symptoms, hand / wrist pain is the most experienced symptom (86%), followed by fatigue (80%) and general stiffness or soreness (75%).


Percentage of those surveyed who experience daily fatigue due to their RA, with naps / rest and caffeine being the most common fatigue management techniques.

Over 1/2

Of individuals were currently in a flare when completing the survey. Only 5% had not had a flare within the past 6 months. 79% of those surveyed are apt to experience more flares during certain weather conditions, with precipitation being with most impactful weather condition for those who do.

Less than 6 months

The longest period of time that most respondents who have gone into remission (40% of the 34% who experienced remission), have been in remission.

RA symptoms can vary in terms of frequency and severity, based on the way the condition unfolds. Here at RheumatoidArthritis.net, we thought it would be helpful for the community to hear about others' experiences via our RA in America 2014 survey - specifically in regards to symptoms, which are often experienced so differently among different people.

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