Left untreated or tackled too late, the crippling condition can force people to stay off work. Poorly treated rheumatoid arthritis also raises the risk of heart attacks and other cardiac problems. Karim Raza, consultant rheumatologist, said: “Recent trial data has shown that there is a three-month window after the start of symptoms.”
“The data suggests that if you intervene within those three months you can very rapidly slow progression of the disease and in some cases halt it. “There is also a suggestion that if you intervene aggressively you might in a small proportion of people actually switch off the disease,” Raza said.