Rheumatoid arthritis is linked to heart disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects 1% of the population and can cause permanent joint destruction and death. Chronic inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis is known to play a role in predisposing patients to heart disease and heart failure.
Mortality caused by rheumatoid arthritis is predominantly due to cardiovascular complications. With 50% of cardiovascular disease associated deaths occurring in people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, gaining better control of this condition may help decrease diagnosis of accelerated coronary artery, cerebrovascular arteriosclerosis, and heart failure. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues, such as the lining of the joints. The severity of this condition has been linked to damaging body systems such as the eyes, skin, lung, blood vessels, and the heart. Proteins such as rheumatoid factor, attack healthy tissues and influence the inflammatory process. Rheumatoid arthritis’s role in activating inflammatory processes and increasing inflammatory molecules such as interleukin 1beta (IL-1beta), interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and necrosis can influence the heart and blood vessels. As substances secreted by inflammatory cells, cytokines exacerbate the inflammatory process by up regulating or influencing the breakdown of other molecules that are known to cause cardiovascular dysfunction. Therefore, investigating the role of inflammatory cytokines, rheumatoid factor positivity, and its association with ischemic heart disease is important for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
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