19:18 PM

Preventing Heart Disease When You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis: Which Tests Do You Need?

According to HSS rheumatologist Iris Navarro-Millan, MD and others, while having Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) raises the risk of heart disease, certain tests to track the risk factors and symptoms can help RA patients stay healthy.

“A large number of RA patients don’t even get a cholesterol test,” noted Dr. Navarro-Millan. While cholesterol is just one piece of the heart-health puzzle, patients who are missing this most basic metric are not likely to be having more in-depth discussions about heart disease with their health care providers, she added.

Dr. Navarro-Millan continued, “Many RA patients are not screened for diabetes, but they don’t know it.” She explained that anyone with diabetes automatically should be taking a statin, a medication that reduces the risk of serious cardiovascular events by lowering cholesterol, reducing inflammation in the arteries, and stabilizing plaque so it’s less likely to break off and block blood flow.

Read the full article at Creakyjoints.org.