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Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that typically affects the small joints of the hands and feet (but any joint can be affected). It is a systemic disease, which means that it does not just affect the musculoskeletal system but can affect the whole body, including the cardiovascular system, lungs, heart, eyes and small blood vessels (vasculitis). Medical management with drug therapy aims to relieve symptoms, modify the progress of the disease and the functional impairment associated with it, and reduce the risk of potential comorbidities.