Close

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
You are here:

What causes JIA?

We don't completely understand what causes JIA. In fact, that's what ‘idiopathic’ means.

What we do know is that JIA is an autoimmune disease. Your immune system is your body’s way of defending itself against injury, illness or bacteria.

Your body can defend itself by causing inflammation or swelling. But when you have JIA, your body creates inflammation in a joint or joints when it doesn’t need to. This inflammation then causes stiffness and pain.

Is JIA genetic?

It's very rare to have two people in the same family with JIA, but we do know that genetic factors are involved. This is to do with the genes that are passed down from your parents.

JIA is thought to be due to a combination of genetic factors and trigger factors from the environment, for example the infections that your immune system has been in touch with.

There’s no evidence that a specific infection causes JIA, but an infection may trigger your immune system's response that then carries on and affects your joints.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.