Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Certain factors increase your risk of reactive arthritis:
- Sex. Reactive arthritis occurs most frequently in men 20 to 40 years old. Though women also can acquire reactive arthritis, they usually have milder signs and symptoms. Women and men are equally likely to develop reactive arthritis in reaction to food-borne infections. However, men are more likely than are women to develop reactive arthritis in response to sexually transmitted bacteria.
- Hereditary factors. Reactive arthritis may have a genetic component because many people with the condition also have a certain molecule on the surfaces of their cells that can be inherited. Having this genetic marker — called the human leukocyte antigen B27 (HLA-B27) — doesn't mean that you'll develop reactive arthritis, but it can increase your chances of developing reactive arthritis if you're exposed to specific bacteria.
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