Early menopause is risk factor, research presented at American College of Rheumatology meeting shows
SAN DIEGO — Oct. 26, 2013 — People with rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory conditions are at higher risk of heart disease. Who is in the most danger, why and how best to prevent and detect cardiovascular complications are important questions for physicians and researchers. Mayo Clinic studies presented at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting shed new light on this connection, in part by revealing factors that seem to put some rheumatoid arthritis patients in greater jeopardy of heart problems: early menopause, more severe rheumatoid arthritis and immunity to a common virus, cytomegalovirus, among others.
MULTIMEDIA ALERT: Video of Dr. Matteson is available for download from the Mayo Clinic News Network.
In one study, Mayo researchers discovered that patients whose rheumatoid arthritis is more severe are likelier to have heart problems. That becomes true soon after rheumatoid arthritis strikes, making early treatment of rheumatoid arthritis important, says co-author Eric Matteson, M.D., chair of rheumatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.