For Journalists

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Key Facts:

  • In the UK, approximately 12,000 children (1 in 1000) under the age of 16 have Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA).
  • JIA is an inflammation of one or more joints in a child under the age of 16 years.  Juvenile means that your child was under 16 when the arthritis started, idiopathic means there is no other explanation for the inflammation in their joints and arthritis means that there is swelling and inflammation in the child’s joints
  • The child's immune system becomes over-active or poorly controlled. As a result, it starts to attack the lining of the joint which causes inflammation and swelling. Infection can also be a trigger.
  • Can be more likely in children with a family history of rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
  • The different types of JIA are:
    • Oligoarthritis: 1 to 4 joints affected in the first six months
    • Polyarthritis: 5 or more joints are affected in the first six months. There are 2 types of polyarthritis, one where a blood test is positive for rheumatoid factor (RF) and one where the test is negative.
    • Enthesitis: inflammation in places where tendons attach to the bone (feet, around their hips, knees, back)
    • Psoriatic: often involves fingers and toes alongside a scaly rash
    • Systematic onset JIA: diagnosis following a fever or a rash
    • Undifferentiated: symptoms do not fit neatly into any of the types above

Key Messages:

  • The vision of JIA-at-NRAS is supporting all with JIA to live life to the full.
  • JIA-at-NRAS is part of The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) and aims to support everyone living with the impact of RA and JIA at the start and at every stage of their journey
  • We strive to improve access to high quality care and services best suited to the individual needs and preferences of all children, young people and their families, wherever they live.