Fast Five Quiz: Do You Know Enough About Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Herbert S. Diamond, MD


December 05, 2019

Myocardial infarction, myocardial dysfunction, and asymptomatic pericardial effusions are common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. While symptomatic pericarditis and constrictive pericarditis are rare, myocarditis, coronary vasculitis, valvular disease, and conduction defects are occasionally observed.

Rheumatoid arthritis is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular (CVD) disease-related morbidity and mortality. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have an estimated reduction in lifespan of 5-10 years as a result of premature atherosclerotic disease.

Extra-articular disease occurs in approximately 40% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, primarily those with severe, active disease. Nontraditional risk factors appear to play an important role.

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis may experience extra-articular diseases of the urinary system (particularly reduced kidney function) and digestive and lymphatic systems.

For more on extra-articular manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis, read here.


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