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A study by the Mayo Clinic published in Arthritis and Rheumatism has found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis may have a higher risk of heart disease even before they are diagnosed with the condition. For example, they were three times more likely to be hospitalized for an acute heart attack and five times more likely to have an undetected heart attack. After RA diagnosis, patients were twice as prone to having unrecognized heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths. Thus sufferers of RA need to have their heart health monitored more closely as they have an increased risk of cardiac problems unrelated to the traditional cardiac risk factors. It is believed that sufferers who have mild heart attacks may not distinguish the pain from the general pain of their condition. One theory for this is that the inflammation associated with RA may also be a factor in the development of cardiovascular and heart disease.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by News WiseMayo Clinic
About: Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers face greater risk of silent heart disease
Date: 3 February 2005
Source: News WiseMayo Clinic
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