A rheumatoid factor (RF) blood test measures the amount of the RF antibody present in the blood. Normally, antibodies are produced by the immune system to help destroy and eliminate invading bacteria and viruses that can cause disease. But the RF antibody can attach to normal body tissue, resulting in damage.
A high level of rheumatoid factor can be caused by several autoimmune diseases (including rheumatoid arthritis) and some infections. Occasionally an elevated level of RF is present in healthy people.
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