[Does rheumatoid polyarthritis come from the New World?]

Rev Rhum Mal Osteoartic. 1990 Apr 10;57(3 ( Pt 2)):271-4.
[Article in French]


While rheumatoid arthritis apparently did not exist in the Old World prior to the eighteenth century, a symmetrical erosive arthritis, indistinguishable from contemporary rheumatoid arthritis is clearly documented in the 1,000 year before present Fort Ancient-Anderson Village site. As lesions compatible with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis have not been noted in the Old World prior to 1785, observation of 35 pre-Columbian cases of compatible lesions, suggests the likelihood that rheumatoid arthritis is a New World disease that subsequently spread to the Old World. Study of the geographical patterns and timing of distribution of rheumatoid arthritis and of New World organic items may provide an opportunity to identify the responsible pathogens or allergens.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis / history
  • Arthritis / pathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / history*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Colombia
  • Female
  • Fossils
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Paleopathology*