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Mayo Clinic: Standard heart disease risk tools underrate danger in rheumatoid arthritis
Date:5/21/2012

izes that patients with rheumatoid arthritis are at higher risk for heart disease, and that conventional predictors of risk are not adequate for estimating this risk. Physicians caring for patients with rheumatoid arthritis should be aware of this heightened risk even when conventional risk factors seem to indicate no increased risk, and consider measures to assess and lower CV risk in these patients," says co-author Eric Matteson, M.D., chairman of Mayo Clinic's rheumatology division.

Among those studied were 525 patients over 30 who were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis between 1988 and 2007 and had no previous history of cardiovascular disease. The study used medical records from the National Institutes of Health-funded Rochester Epidemiology Project, whose resources make Olmsted County, Minn., one of the few places in the world where researchers can examine medical data on virtually everyone in a defined geographic population to find the true frequency of certain conditions and the success of treatments.

The patients' 10-year risk of developing cardiovascular disease was measured using the Framingham and Reynolds risk scores. The mean follow-up period was 8.4 years; 84 patients developed cardiovascular disease during that time. The observed heart disease risk turned out to be twice as high among women and 65 percent higher in men than the Framingham risk score predicted, and the Reynolds tool had similar shortcomings, researchers found. Patients 75 and older proved to be three times more at risk than the Framingham score indicated. Patients with positive rheumatoid factor also had more h
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Contact: Sharon Theimer
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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