Once JRA, now RA?Once JRA, now RA?

I was diagnosed with JRA when I was a young kid.
Now that I'm an adult and I still see a rheumatologist for my active disease, does this mean I now have RA? What's the difference?

Answers from our Doctors

tshaver's picture
Dr. Timothy S. Shaver says:

The way this question is answered depends on semantics. Technically, you have juvenile onset disease that has persisted into adulthood. I would personally still consider you to have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis for this reason.

The difference is that adult-onset patients tend to more commonly have antibodies such as rheumatoid factor associated with their illness, and juvenile onset patients more commonly go into remission (even though this is not true for your disease). In practical terms, we would probably treat you with the same drugs we would use to treat pediatric patients, only in different doses.

Perhaps just as importantly, since you are now an adult and still have active disease, we could get insurance coverage for all of the drugs that we would use in treating adult RA.

I hope this helps.

Answered on: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 17:15


Commenting: Guest
02/21/2012 - 17:43

As an adult with Juvenile onset RA is it still important to see a Rheumatologist that specializes in pediatric Rheumatology as well or is it now ok to see a Rheumatologist that specializes in adults only?

The reason I ask is because San Antonio (where I live) only has 1 Pediatric Rheumatologist, the Dr. who treated me for the past 17 years, but he does not accept my new insurance.

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