Double the risk! Rheumatoid Arthritis & Cardiovascular disease


The role inflammation plays in the development of Cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) disease has become increasingly more evident.  One of the markers we use to measure inflammation in several autoimmune diseases (systemic lupus erythematosus, sjögren’s syndrome, systemic scleroderma, inflammatory myositis, psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis), is C reactive protein (CRP).  CRP is also the marker we use to identify our risk of heart disease.  The exact reasons why RA has double the risk of cardiovascular (CV)  disease is still being studied but the link that exists between RA and CV disease has been proven.

Having RA doubles the risk of most heart problems, including heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis — the buildup of fat, cholesterol and cellular debris (plaque) on blood vessel walls.

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of deaths globally – more people die from CVDs than anything else.

Cardiovascular disease “It’s the leading cause of death in the U.S.


So… we can let this scare the pants of us! or we can make a plan together!

Evidence shows that RA can damage the lining in the artery walls just as it can also destroy the lining or the synovium of the joint

Those of us with RA …  have cardiovascular risks that are different!

Studies have shown it’s more common for us (people with RA) to have plaque in our arteries or arthersclerosis and it is more likely it will develop further and at a faster rate.

We tend to visualize CV disease or heart disease as just one condition. But it’s actually a group of several conditions that affect the heart (pump) and vessels (plumbing) of the body. The system whose job it is to provide all our organs and tissues with blood, oxygen and nutrients so we can survive.

When we understand how many conditions heart disease encompasses, the seriousness of the disease becomes clear.

Cardiovascular disease is divided into two main types, Heart (pump) related and vessel (plumbing) related: