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Arthritis (Rheumatoid Factor) Home Test Kit

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"All testing is conducted by healthcare professionals in a medically-led laboratory. Accredited lab testing is the best way to be confident that your test results are accurate. Get tested now for complete reassurance."

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Check for rheumatoid factor and assess your blood health & inflammation with our simple and accurate fingerprick blood arthritis home test kit.

Get arthritis home test results delivered online, typically within 48 hours. Get rapid reassurance from an accredited clinical laboratory.

We Offer Three Quality Assured Validated Laboratory Tests:

C-reactive Protein (CRP)
Full Blood Count (FBC)
Rheumatoid Factor (RF)

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How Our Home Test For Arthritis (Rheumatoid Factor) Works

blood tests are fingerprick blood Arthritis test as little as 48 hours


How Can I Test My Arthritis At Home?

You can test your Arthritis by carrying out the simple fingerprick blood sampling method.

Your blood sample can then be returned to the laboratory in a prepaid envelope for analysis.

Find out more about the Vitall range of at-home health tests and get accurate results delivered online.

How You'll Receive Your Test Results

Your Arthritis blood test results will be delivered quickly and securely to you in your personal online dashboard.
  • Each result is charted and clearly highlighted against normal ranges.
  • Any abnormal findings and possible reasons for this are fully detailed.
  • Receive an easy to understand overview of your health, fast.
  • Track your results over time to monitor lifestyle changes, treatments and behaviours.
  • Save up to 25% on repeat testing by subscribing when you checkout.


Expert Blood Test Analysis in an Accredited Laboratory

Expert Arthritis Blood Test Analysis

Evidence-based health checks are analysed in an accredited laboratory.
Rapid home blood tests from a professional laboratory

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Arthritis test results returned in as little as 48 hours.
Improved health and wellbeing home blood testing

Find Peace of Mind

Check for rheumatoid factor and assess your blood health & inflammation.

What's Tested In This Arthritis Home Test?

Three biomarkers are measured to check for rheumatoid factor and assess your blood health & inflammation.

Using a Fingerprick Blood Sample, this Arthritis Test Assesses:

C-reactive Protein (CRP) is a non-specific marker that can indicate the presence of infection and inflammation. 

(CRP should not be confused with hs-CRP, which measures the same biomarker at very low levels to assess cardiovascular disease risk).

White blood cells, red blood cells, platelets and plasma are the main components of your blood, responsible for carrying nutrients, oxygen and immunity throughout your body.

White blood cells help maintain a healthy immune system, while red blood cells carry oxygen and distribute it to your tissues.

Rheumatoid factor (RF) is a protein naturally present in your blood. It is made by your immune system, but can mistakenly identify your own tissue as "foreign" and cause an attack on your own body.

80% of people with rheumatoid arthritis will have elevated RF levels. So rheumatoid factor (RF) testing is a useful tool to help identify the presence of this autoimmune condition.


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Why Take The Arthritis Test?

Our Arthritis Risk home blood test kit detects rheumatoid factor, checks your blood cells and hemoglobin levels and assesses the level of inflammation in your body.

Although a definitive test for arthritis does not exist, together these can strongly indicate the condition and allow you to seek appropriate treatment.

Take control of your health without any of the inconvenience of going to the doctors with one of Vitall’s at-home blood tests.

Who Should Take The Arthritis Blood Test?

Check for rheumatoid factor and assess your blood health & inflammation using a home fingerprick blood test kit.

You get the convenience of home testing with the reassurance of professional clinical analysis. Your results are delivered quickly & securely online.

This Arthritis (Rheumatoid Factor) Test is advised if you:

  • are aged over 40;
  • experience pain and swelling in your joints;
  • have family history of rheumatoid arthritis;
  • have stiffness in your joints, typically in the hands & feet and especially in the morning;
  • suffer from chronic fatigue & tiredness;
  • want the convenience of home testing without waiting for a GP appointment;
  • need a high quality, clinically accredited test done in a professional clinical laboratory.

Take a complete health check-up with Vitall.


How Much Do Arthritis Tests Cost?

The Vitall arthritis test is available online for just £109. Your home test kit will be dispatched by free first class post for delivery to your door.

When you checkout to buy your arthritis test online we also offer additional options, including:

  • Upgrade to next day delivery of your home test kit for an additional £7.99.
  • Visit the Patient Reception in central London for just £25. Your arthritis test sample can be collected by a qualified nurse for immediate analysis.
  • Have a nurse visit you to collect the sample for your arthritis test, this is available within the M25 area for just £149.

Whichever option you choose at checkout, buying the best arthritis test online in the UK with Vitall ensures high quality results from an accredited laboratory.

Take control of your health today with one of Vitall’s home blood tests.


What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition characterised by the inflammation (painful swelling) of the articular lining (synovitis), leading to the gradual destruction of joints; clinically, this results in multiple peripheral joints becoming swollen and tender.[1] Typically, the distribution of rheumatoid arthritis is symmetrical, affecting the same joints from each side of the body (for example, both wrists).[2]

The most commonly affected joints are the wrists,[1] metacarpophalangeal (between the palm and the fingers), the proximal interphalangeal (between the first and second bones of the finger), and metatarsophalangeal (between the bones of the foot and the toes).[1][2]

Stiffness is very common during the early morning, lasting at least 30 minutes.[1] Neck pain and stiffness may occur in rare cases.[2] However, rheumatoid arthritis affects more than the joints: weight loss, fatigue, and malaise are very common. Some patients develop extra-articular manifestations, such as Sjögren's syndrome or interstitial lung disease.[1]

Rheumatoid arthritis is more frequent in northern Europe and North America,[3] affecting 1% of the UK population.[4] Women are three times more likely to present this condition, especially after menopause, suggesting that hormonal factors might influence its development. Environmental factors, such as smoking and alcohol intake, may significantly increase the risk.[3]

What Is The Difference Between Arthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Arthritis is a very common condition characterised by the inflammation of joints. While rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis, the term encompasses many conditions. Arthritis is the primary characteristic of various diseases like ankylosing spondylitis, septic arthritis, gout, and pseudo-gout. It can also be viewed as a symptom or as a secondary manifestation of another disease: that is the case of psoriasis, Lyme disease, various viral infections, systemic lupus erythematosus, and many others.

Nonetheless, there are two major forms of arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

As previously discussed, rheumatoid arthritis is characterised by inflammation caused by autoimmunity.[1]

Osteoarthritis, which is the most common cause of arthritis, results from continuous damage to cartilages throughout a lifetime. As the cartilage wears down it loses its protective properties, causing painful and swollen joints. Similarly to rheumatoid arthritis, it is more common in older women. Osteoarthritis can be a complication of rheumatoid arthritis when a prolonged and severe autoimmune response destroys the cartilage.[5]

Despite being similar conditions, osteoarthritis can be distinguished from rheumatoid arthritis:[5]

  • Stiffness from osteoarthritis lasts less than 30 minutes and does not characteristically appear in the mornings.
  • Osteoarthritis may affect any joint, but the most common are the knees and hips.
  • Osteoarthritis is not caused by autoimmune responses. This means that the body is not producing autoantibodies (harmful antibodies), such as rheumatoid factor (which is measured in the Vitall arthritis home test).

What Is The Main Cause Of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is mainly caused by an autoimmune response against the joints. Instead of defending from outside invaders, the immune system mistakenly produces and sends harmful autoantibodies to the joints, especially to the synovium.[1] This entails multiple inflammatory cascades that lead to chronic synovitis, damage to the cartilage and bone, and destruction of the affected joint.[3]

Thus far, two relevant autoantibodies have been identified: rheumatoid factor, which is the most studied one and tested for in the Vitall rheumatoid arthritis home test, and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies (anti-CCP). The latter targets proteins that undergo a biochemical reaction called ‘citrullination’.[3] Certain proteins from the synovium have a higher chance of becoming citrullinated, such as fibrin and fibrinogen. Once this occurs, they turn into an easier target for the immune system.[2]

However, the exact reason behind this autoimmune response remains unknown. Genetic and environmental have been suggested as the main factors:

  • Genetic factors represent at least 50% of the risk.[6]
  • Having a relative with rheumatoid arthritis significantly increases the risk of developing it.[6]
  • Tobacco smoke is the most influential environmental trigger of rheumatoid arthritis; evidence shows that it increases citrullination.[7]
  • Obesity, high birth weight, and low educational level may also increase the risk.[6]

If you believe that you could be at risk of developing arthritis, take our home test for rheumatoid arthritis and control your health. Our testing delivers accurate results typically within 48 hours.


How Serious Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The development of complications in rheumatoid arthritis is variable and the most decisive factor for delaying disease progression seems to be early treatment. Studies have found that the first three months of symptomatic disease act as a therapeutic window during which appropriate treatment can slow down the progression of this condition. In other words, early treatment and early diagnosis are especially important for reducing the severity of rheumatoid arthritis. Three to six months of treatment delay can increase mortality and decrease the efficacy of therapy.[1]

The main complications of rheumatoid arthritis are:[3]

  • Disability: the destruction of the cartilage and bones of the affected joints lead to articular dysfunction.
  • Extra-articular disease: up to 30% of people with rheumatoid arthritis may present subcutaneous nodules (lumps under the skin), secondary Sjögren's syndrome, interstitial lung disease, pericarditis, pleuritis, amyloidosis, or rheumatoid vasculitis.
  • Treatment-associated complications: drugs employed during the treatment of this condition may promote the development of complications when used for prolonged time. For example, osteoporosis or cataracts (by corticosteroids), gastric or intestinal ulcers (by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and higher risks of infection and melanoma (by steroids and biological agents).
  • Higher risk for other diseases: this condition increases the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke. It also increases the risk of lymphoma and lung cancer, while reducing the risk of breast cancer and gastrointestinal malignancies.

Given these potential outcomes, taking a rheumatoid arthritis blood test, such as the Vitall arthritis home test, can help highlight concerns before symptoms become serious.

What Are The 4 Stages Of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The natural history of rheumatoid arthritis is composed of 4 stages. This takes a very long time to occur and may be slowed down by treatment; therefore, not everyone experiences all the stages.

  • Stage 1: this stage, also known as early rheumatoid arthritis, is marked by inflammation of the joint lining. Early signs and symptoms may be present, such as mild pain, stiffness, or swelling. Other joint structures remain unaffected;[8] therefore, imaging studies may not reveal any evident joint damage during this early stage.
  • Stage 2: as the condition progresses towards this moderate stage, the inflammation begins to affect the cartilage. As joints lose this rubber-like padding, their range of motion becomes restricted and the pain turns more intense.[8] Imaging findings may reveal bone and cartilage erosion.[9]
  • Stage 3: at this point, the condition is severe. Once the cartilage is destroyed, the damage extends to the bones. The edges of the bones rub together, producing intense pain and inflammation. As joint mobility decreases, the surrounding muscles become weak and wasted.[8] This can be seen with imaging studies and may include joint deformity.[9]
  • Stage 4: in this stage, also known as end-stage rheumatoid arthritis, the joint is mostly destroyed and loses its function. Ankylosis (bone fusion) may be evidenced through a radiographic study.[10]

Detecting high levels of rheumatoid factor, with an arthritis blood test, can be a sign that your rheumatoid arthritis is progressing.


What Age Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Usually Start?

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), rheumatoid arthritis usually starts between 40 and 60 years of age.[4] The peak of incidence is commonly described at the age of 50 years.[6] However, this condition may develop in younger or older people,[4] and the exact age of incidence may be different for other countries.

The start of rheumatoid arthritis has also varied across history. While there is no consensus on the matter, data from the second half of the 20th century suggested that the incidence (new cases during a certain period) and prevalence (accumulated cases during a certain period) was decreasing.[6] Nevertheless, some studies report that the incidence has been rising since 1995,[6] while others suggest that incidence is still declining, with the onset of the disease occurring later in life.[3]

Due to the uncertainty, watching your body for signs and symptoms and taking an arthritis home test online can help you understand your risk level.

Can A Blood Test Detect Rheumatoid Arthritis?

An arthritis blood test is unable to independently detect or rule out a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis because most biomarkers can be present in more than one disease. In certain cases, some biomarkers can even be positive in healthy people.

This is why the Vitall home test for rheumatoid arthritis combines three of the tests recommended by the NHS[11]: C-reactive Protein (CRP), Full Blood Count (FBC), and Rheumatoid Factor (RF). Employing these tests, we can maximize the reliability of the results:

  • C-reactive protein: this biomarker is a major indicator of inflammation, which is a hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis. High values may be prognostic of bone erosion.[12]
  • Full blood count: including an FBC in the Vitall arthritis home test is particularly important. As mentioned before, most biomarkers can be positive in more than one disease; an FBC helps rule out other conditions that could be mimicking the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.[11]
  • Rheumatoid factor: this autoantibody is present in up to 80% of patients, making it the most common biomarker indicated for people with joint pain, swelling, and stiffness,[13] as recommended by the NHS[11] and the NICE guidelines.[14]

So while an absolute diagnosis cannot be made with a blood test, taking a rheumatoid arthritis test can help you understand your body better and identify areas for further investigation.


How To Test For Rheumatoid Arthritis?

You may require further medical assistance if your arthritis home test results suggest you may have rheumatoid arthritis, or if your blood test results are negative but your symptoms are highly suggestive of this condition. The NICE guidelines recommend that a patient should be referred if:[14]

  • The affected joints include the peripheral, small joints of the hands or feet.
  • Multiple joints are affected, not just one.
  • The symptoms began 3 months ago or more, and the patient has not sought medical advice.

The diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is further studied with the following exams:

  • Anti-CCP antibodies: this rheumatoid arthritis blood test is usually ordered when the rheumatoid factor is negative, but it can also be used for prognostic purposes.[14]
  • Radiographic studies: x-rays are useful for detecting erosion or other types of damage in the affected joints, usually the hands and feet.[14]
  • Other studies, such as ultrasound for early detection[1] or magnetic resonance imaging for further assessment, may be indicated; however, they not routinely indicated for initial diagnosis.[3]

Find out more about your health with one of Vitall’s at-home health tests. Our tests are carried out at an accredited clinical laboratory and delivered online within 48 hours.

Further Reading On Arthritis (Rheumatoid Factor) Tests At Home

[1] Harnden K, Pease C, Jackson A. Rheumatoid arthritis. BMJ. 2016;352:i387. Published 2016 Mar 23. doi:10.1136/bmj.i387. Available from:
[2] DiBaise M, Kohn S. Diagnosing and managing patients with rheumatoid arthritis. JAAPA. 2021;34(5):27-34. doi:10.1097/01.JAA.0000742944.34230.87. Available from:
[3] Scott DL, Wolfe F, Huizinga TW. Rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet. 2010;376(9746):1094-1108. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60826-4. Available from:
[4] Allen A, Carville S, McKenna F; Guideline Development Group. Diagnosis and management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults: summary of updated NICE guidance. BMJ. 2018;362:k3015. Published 2018 Aug 3. doi:10.1136/bmj.k3015. Available from:
[5] National Health Service (NHS). Osteoarthritis. Accessed 30 June 2021. Available from:
[6] van der Woude D, van der Helm-van Mil AHM. Update on the epidemiology, risk factors, and disease outcomes of rheumatoid arthritis. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2018;32(2):174-187. doi:10.1016/j.berh.2018.10.005. Available from:
[7] Alsalahy MM, Nasser HS, Hashem MM, Elsayed SM. Effect of tobacco smoking on tissue protein citrullination and disease progression in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Saudi Pharm J. 2010;18(2):75-80. doi:10.1016/j.jsps.2010.02.002. Available from:
[8] McInnes IB, Schett G. The pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. N Engl J Med. 2011;365(23):2205-2219. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1004965. Available from:
[9] Colebatch AN, Edwards CJ, Østergaard M, et al. EULAR recommendations for the use of imaging of the joints in the clinical management of rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2013;72(6):804-814. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-203158. Available from:
[10] Barbieri F, Zampogna G, Camellino D, et al. Ankylosis of the wrist bones in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a study with extremity-dedicated MRI. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2016;34(1):49-52. Available from:
[11] NHS. Rheumatoid Arthritis — Diagnosis. Accessed 2 July 2021. Available from:
[12] Puentes-Osorio Y, Amariles P, Calleja MÁ, Merino V, Díaz-Coronado JC, Taborda D. Potential clinical biomarkers in rheumatoid arthritis with an omic approach. Auto Immun Highlights. 2021;12(1):9. Published 2021 May 31. doi:10.1186/s13317-021-00152-6. Available from:
[13] Shapiro SC. Biomarkers in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Cureus. 2021;13(5):e15063. Published 2021 May 16. doi:10.7759/cureus.15063. Available from:
[14] National Guideline Centre (UK). Rheumatoid arthritis in adults: diagnosis and management. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (UK); July 2018. Available from:


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Expert Blood Test Analysis in an Accredited Laboratory

Expert Arthritis Blood Test Analysis

Evidence-based health checks are analysed in an accredited laboratory.
Rapid home blood tests from a professional laboratory

Get Rapid Blood Test Results

Arthritis test results returned in as little as 48 hours.
Improved health and wellbeing home blood testing

Find Peace of Mind

Check for rheumatoid factor and assess your blood health & inflammation.

£ 109