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Inflammation may be behind arthritis and heart disease

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals who suffer from arthritis may benefit from cholesterol testing to check on the condition of their heart. A new study published in the journal Arthritis Research and Therapy indicates that joint pain and cardiovascular complications may be closely related.

Rheumatoid arthritis is generally caused by the immune system attacking joint tissue. This causes inflammation and the wearing away of cartilage, which results in pain. Similarly, inflammation in the heart can hamper its ability to function at full capacity, which contributes to cardiovascular disease.

The findings of the new study suggest that these two conditions may share similar contributing factors. After analyzing the medical records of more than 400 people with arthritis, the researchers noted signs of heart disease in many. However, when participants treated their arthritis, they were less likely to develop heart disease.

Treatment with medications known as disease modifying antirheumatic drugs - which are commonly used to control arthritis symptoms - was shown to be most effective in preventing the development of heart disease. The findings may suggest a simple new way to treat two conditions with a single

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