Rheumatoid arthritis patients have a two-fold increased risk of heart attack versus the general population. That's comparable to the increased risk of heart attack seen in diabetic patients, according to study results presented at EULAR (The Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism). Data was further analyzed to look for differences among various age groups. Researchers found that heart attack risk increased 6-fold in women with rheumatoid arthritis younger than 50 years of age -- and that's comparable to diabetics within the same age group. For male patients, heart attack risk was comparable for rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes.
Diabetic patients are routinely considered for intensive cardiovascular risk management. Early detection and management of cardiovascular risk factors is essential for rheumatoid arthritis patients too.
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