Heart disease can become a deadly complication for rheumatoid arthritis patients, but it has often been difficult for physicians to spot early. A Mayo Clinic study finds that special echocardiograms show promise for early detection of cardiovascular abnormalities unique to rheumatoid arthritis patients. The findings were being presented at The European League Against Rheumatism annual meeting in Berlin.
“The challenge that we’ve had in our studies, and other people have had as well, is identifying patients with rheumatoid arthritis early enough so that we can intervene, before the symptoms become clinically apparent,” says senior researcher Sherine Gabriel, M.D., a Mayo Clinic rheumatologist and epidemiologist. “So before they have a heart attack, before they have heart failure, so that we can identify those high-risk patients early, at a time when we can make a difference.”
Soundbites with Dr. Gabriel are available in the downloads above
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Dr. Sherine Gabriel, Mayo Clinic Rheumatologist and Epidemiologist
Click here for entire news release: RA_CVD Echocardiograms