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STUDY: Women with rheumatoid disease have increased risk
JOURNAL: Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association
AUTHORS: Daniel Solomon
ABSTRACT: Women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may face up to double the heart attack risks of women without the condition.
COMMENTARY: Researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital analyzed health conditions of more than 114,000 people in a 20-year study, including 527 arthritis sufferers.
Their findings, point to a possible correlation between rates of arthritis and heart attack risks in women.
The Brigham and Women’s study found women with rheumatoid arthritis had twice the risk of heart attack compared to those without it. Those who had the joint condition for at least 10 years faced triple the heart attack risks of non-sufferers.
“Both physicians and patients should recognize rheumatoid arthritis as a marker for increased heart attack risk,” said Daniel Solomon, a rheumatologist and epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s in Boston.
“Our study, the largest of its kind to date, illustrates the importance of considering more aggressive cardiac preventive measures in arthritic patients,” he said.
Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, involves inflammation in the lining of the joints and/or other internal organs. RA typically affects many different joints. It can be chronic or can be a disease of flares and remissions.