Studies have suggested that rheumatoid arthritis patients have an increased risk of developing blood clots. Those findings prompted Swedish researchers to consider whether the risk of blood clots in rheumatoid arthritis patients is associated with disease duration (how long a patient had rheumatoid arthritis) or hospitalization. According to a report published in the October 3, 2012 issue of JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association), researchers looked at data from more than 45,000 rheumatoid arthritis patients and compared it to the general population.
Results showed that from the point of diagnosis, rheumatoid arthritis patients had an increased rate of blood clots compared to the general population but the rate did not continue to increase over 10 years. Researchers also determined that while hospitalization was a risk factor for blood clots in rheumatoid arthritis patients, the increased risk was not greater than that observed in the general population.
In order to understand the association between rheumatoid arthritis and an increased risk of blood clots, researchers will need to consider other factors that may be contributing to the risk. Those factors may include genetics, inflammation, inactivity, and smoking. It should be noted that few people in the study developed a blood clot. Rheumatoid arthritis patients should not over-worry, but should be aware of risk factors and symptoms of blood clots.
- Higher Risk for Blood Clots Found in Hospitalized Arthritis Patients - 01/10/2011
- Autoimmune Arthritis Patients at Higher Risk for Blood Clots in Lung - 11/28/2011
- Blood Clot Guide
- Rheumatologic Emergency
Photo © A.D.A.M.