Children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) have inflammation of the joints that is called arthritis. This arthritis causes swelling pain with movement and possible decreased motion in the joint. This ranges from very mild limited joint involvement to severe systemic disease associated with high fever, rash and lymph node enlargement. There are seven types of JIA. The three major types include:

  • Oligoarticular JIA (arthritis in four joints or less)
  • Polyarticular JIA (arthritis in five or more joints)
  • Systemic JIA (arthritis plus fever, rash and large lymph nodes)

In the past, these diseases were called “juvenile rheumatoid arthritis,” or “JRA,” "juvenile arthritis" or "juvenile chronic arthritis."

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common type of arthritis in children. It is a chronic disease. This means it will probably last a long time. About one in 1,000 children have JIA in the United States. The number of new cases per year is estimated at nine per 100,000 people. These numbers tell us that about 40-50 children in the Cincinnati area will be diagnosed with JIA each year.