Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory joint disease, which can cause cartilage and bone damage as well as disability. Early diagnosis is key to optimal therapeutic success, particularly in patients with well-characterised risk factors for poor outcomes such as high disease activity, presence of autoantibodies, and early joint damage. Treatment algorithms involve measuring disease activity with composite indices, applying a treatment-to-target strategy, and use of conventional, biological, and newz non-biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. After the treatment target of stringent remission (or at least low disease activity) is maintained, dose reduction should be attempted. Although the prospects for most patients are now favourable, many still do not respond to current therapies. Accordingly, new therapies are urgently required. In this Seminar, we describe current insights into genetics and aetiology, pathophysiology, epidemiology, assessment, therapeutic agents, and treatment strategies together with unmet needs of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
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