A positive rheumatoid factor test result indicates that a high level of rheumatoid factor was detected in your blood. A higher level of rheumatoid factor in your blood is closely associated with autoimmune disease, particularly rheumatoid arthritis. But a number of other diseases and conditions can raise rheumatoid factor levels, including:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic infections
  • Cirrhosis
  • Inflammatory lung diseases, such as sarcoidosis
  • Mixed connective tissue disease
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjogren's syndrome
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

Some healthy people have positive rheumatoid factor tests, though it's not clear why. And some people who have rheumatoid arthritis will have low levels of rheumatoid factor in their blood.

Jul. 09, 2013