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Inflammatory Arthritis & Heart Disease

Inflammatory Arthritis and the Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease    

By James Bayliss and Audra McHugh (Arthritis Queensland)

Most people are familiar with the impacts arthritis can have on your bones and joints. However, many don’t realise how a diagnosis of arthritis can put you at risk for other health conditions. Research has shown that people with inflammatory forms of arthritis have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This is especially true for the 445,000 Australians living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Research reveals that at least 50% of premature deaths in people with RA are associated with some form of cardiovascular disease. People with RA are also more likely to be admitted to hospital due to cardiovascular issues than the general population.

This information highlights the need for people living with RA (and other forms of inflammatory arthritis) to make sure they are being regularly monitored by their healthcare team for cardiovascular risk factors.

If you have arthritis, take time to talk to your doctor about what you can do to minimize your risk of heart disease. Lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise, can go a long way in helping to keep you healthy, so make time to have these conversations.    

Although this information may seem overwhelming, being aware of the risks associated with your diagnosis can help you Take Charge of your health!

To register your interest for a Take Charge workshop to help you manage your arthritis, call Arthritis Queensland on 1800 011 041

For more information on the association between arthritis and heart disease, follow the links below:

The American Arthritis Foundation: http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/comorbidities/heart-disease/

Arthritis Research UK http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/news/general-news/inflammatory-arthritis-patients-at-higher-risk-of-heart-disease.aspx

The team at Arthritis Queensland is committed to raising the awareness of arthritis as a serious health condition, worthy of the greater public attention and understanding. Keep an eye on our latest news page for more stories like this and on all things arthritis.

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