Mayo Clinic: RA Can Drastically Impact Heart Health

Mayo Clinic: RA Can Drastically Impact Heart Health

Eric Matteson, chair of rheumatology at the Mayo Clinic, says that people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other chronic inflammatory conditions are at a much higher risk of heart disease. In fact, people with severe RA are twice as likely to develop heart disease.Oct 27, 2013

Can rheumatoid arthritis affect your heart and lungs?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) doesn’t affect just your joints. It can also damage the tissue surrounding the joints, as well as your eyes, heart, and, most important, lungs. Lung complications from rheumatoid arthritis can be serious and even cause death.

Can arthritis damage your heart?

A rupture, in turn, can trigger a heart attack. The risk isn’t limited to people with inflammatory arthritis. Although OA is not in itself inflammatory, its damage can cause inflammation, which in turn increases the risk of heart disease.

Why does RA increase risk of cardiovascular disease?

Increased risk of heart disease in patients with RA is associated with elevation of inflammatory markers, including CRP, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, rheumatoid factor, anti-citrullinated protein antibodies, and with more active or severe RA (20).

Can RA cause rapid heart rate?

Enough to Give You a Heart Attack

RA has been linked to several kinds of heart problems, including: Atrial fibrillation. This condition, the most common type of heart rhythm problem, occurs when the upper chambers of the heart beat very fast and irregularly. Left untreated, it can lead to a stroke or heart failure.

Can rheumatoid arthritis cause congestive heart failure?

There is an increased incidence of heart failure (HF) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared with the general population, and HF may contribute to the shortened life expectancy observed in RA.

What is the life expectancy of a person with rheumatoid arthritis?

According to the Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network, a person with RA may have a lifespan that is approximately 10, or at most 15, years shorter than average. Yet in many cases, people with RA have the same life expectancy as people without it, especially when the symptoms are well controlled.

What type of long term damage may occur in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis?

RA commonly affects joints in the hands, wrists, and knees. In a joint with RA, the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, causing damage to joint tissue. This tissue damage can cause long-lasting or chronic pain, unsteadiness (lack of balance), and deformity (misshapenness).

Can rheumatoid arthritis cause heart palpitations?

RA is tied to both sudden cardiac death from ventricular arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation. Although the underlying pathology is not completely understood, research suggests that both direct and indirect effects of chronic systemic inflammation play a role in the increased risk for arrhythmia in RA.

Can RA cause AFIB?

Now, researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences have shown that patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are 60% more likely to develop atrial fibrillation than those without RA.

Can rheumatoid arthritis cause heart valve problems?

The valvular lesions caused by rheumatoid arthritis have been known for a long time. The valves may be affected by unspecific inflammatory changes or, specifically, by rheumatoid granulomas identical with subcutaneous nodules that lead to the malfunctioning of the aortic or the mitral valve.

What is end stage rheumatoid arthritis?

The end stage of RA means that most of the tissue that was formerly inflamed has been destroyed, and bone erosion has occurred. The affected joints stop functioning and patients experience pain and severe loss of mobility.

How does rheumatoid arthritis affect the respiratory system?

The lung problems most often linked to rheumatoid arthritis include: Scarring within the lungs. Scarring related to long-term inflammation (interstitial lung disease) may cause shortness of breath, a chronic dry cough, fatigue, weakness and loss of appetite.

What Happens If RA is left untreated?

Without appropriate treatment, chronic pain, disability, and excess mortality are unfortunate outcomes of this disease. RA causes joint damage in 80% to 85% of patients, with the brunt of the damage occurring during the first 2 years of the disease. Left untreated, the risk of mortality is increased.

Does RA get worse with age?

RA usually presents between the ages of 25 and 45 years , but it can affect people of any age. When the onset of RA occurs at a younger age, there is more time for it to progress. Consequently, it may cause more severe symptoms over time and is more likely to lead to complications.

What organs are affected by rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just your joints. In some people, the condition can damage a wide variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.

What are the 4 stages of RA?

The 4 Stages of Rheumatoid Arthritis Progression
  • Stage 1: Early RA. …
  • Stage 2: Antibodies Develop and Swelling Worsens. …
  • Stage 3: Symptoms Are Visible. …
  • Stage 4: Joints Become Fused. …
  • How to Know if Your RA Is Progressing. …
  • What Makes RA Get Worse? …
  • How Your RA Treatment Plan Prevents Disease Progression.

Can RA cause organ damage?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune inflammatory condition that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling, is most noted for its effects on the body’s joints. But rheumatoid arthritis is also a systemic disease, meaning it can affect the whole body and lead to damage of major organs and even a shortened life span.

What is the safest drug for rheumatoid arthritis?

The American College of Rheumatology recommends methotrexate as the first medication providers should consider when treating people with rheumatoid arthritis. In head-to-head clinical trials, methotrexate was found to be equally or more effective, and have fewer side effects, than other nonbiologic DMARDs.

How does rheumatoid arthritis affect daily life?

Rheumatoid arthritis causes joint pain and swelling, reduced mobility and physical weakness. General tiredness, trouble sleeping and exhaustion are other common symptoms. All of these symptoms can greatly affect your everyday life and overall wellbeing.

Can inflammation cause irregular heartbeat?

The inflammation can reduce the heart’s ability to pump and cause rapid or irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias). Infection with a virus usually causes myocarditis.

Are heart palpitations and irregular heartbeat?

Palpitations are symptoms of everything from short or long-term stress to a variety of arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). They may feel alarming, but do not always reflect a serious heart condition.

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