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Psychological Symptoms Impact Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Activity

Those with rheumatoid arthritis, depression, stress, anxiety, or anger could be at higher risk of cardiovascular diseases.

For patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), depression, stress, anxiety, and anger may compound their risk of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, according to findings published in Arthritis Car e & Research.

Researchers from Columbia University observed 195 RA patients and more than 1,000 non RA controls in order to determine whether psychosocial comorbidities are differentially associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in this population. The participants were recruited from the Evaluation of Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease and Predictors of Events in RA Study (ESCAPE). The researchers gathered data about the patients’ atherosclerosis status using computed tomography and ultrasound to measure coronary artery calcium and carotid artery thickness for plaque buildup. Then, the investigators compared the two groups.

“Understanding the risk factors that lead to greater mortality in those with chronic conditions like RA is extremely important,” lead investigator Jon Giles, MD, MPH, explained in a press release. “Our study is the first to investigate the association between psychosocial comorbidities and elevated risk of atherosclerosis in RA patients.”

Read Full Article: Psychological Symptoms Impact Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Activity

 

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