I've long been fascinated by autoimmune diseases - in part because I have one, and in part because there's so much mystery surrounding them. I took notice, then, of a recent Mayo Clinic study that shows that one in 12 women and one in 20 men in the U.S. will develop rheumatoid arthritis or another kind of inflammatory autoimmune disorder.
The study marks the first time the lifetime risk for rheumatic disease has been determined, and I'm pretty surprised it hasn't gotten more media coverage. In their paper, the authors call the lifetime risk of these diseases "substantial," and they note that the risk of rheumatoid arthritis alone (1 in 28 for women and 1 in 59 for men), is higher than previously thought. Their findings, they say, underscore the need for more research.