About Careers MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Irregular Heart Beat

by Sheela Philomena on March 9, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Font : A-A+

 Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Irregular Heart Beat

A strong association has been identified between rheumatoid arthritis and irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation), shows study published in BMJ.

Rheumatoid arthritis is already linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and heart failure, and is an important risk factor for stroke. But no study has yet examined whether it increases the risk of atrial fibrillation - a condition associated with an increased long term risk of stroke, heart failure, and death.

Advertisement

So a team of researchers set out to examine the risk of atrial fibrillation and stroke associated with rheumatoid arthritis in the Danish population.

The study involved more than four million people, of which 18,247 had a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Participants were followed up for an average of five years, during which time cases of atrial fibrillation and stroke were recorded.
Advertisement

The results show that patients with rheumatoid arthritis had a 40% increased risk of atrial fibrillation compared with the general population (8.2 and 6 events per 1,000 person years respectively) with women at slightly higher risk than men. This corresponds to one new case of atrial fibrillation per 12 rheumatoid arthritis patients followed for 10 years after diagnosis.

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis also had a 30% increased risk of stroke compared with the general population (7.6 and 5.7 events per 1,000 person years respectively).

New guidelines recommend annual screening for cardiovascular risk factors in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and this should include screening for atrial fibrillation, say the authors.

They also suggest that, as inflammation plays a role in the development of atrial fibrillation and stroke, inflammation control is crucial for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, "not only for the management of joint symptoms, but also to reduce the need for drugs with potential adverse cardiovascular effects and, ultimately, to diminish the inflammation driven atherothrombotic process."

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended Reading

This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
×

Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Irregular Heart Beat Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests