Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic progressive inflammatory joint disorder that affects 0.5% â € “ 1% of the general population. This review article discusses cardiovascular manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis, pathogenesis of these manifestations, and therapy. This disease not only affects the joints, but it also involves other organ systems. The majority of these patients suffer significant morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular manifestations of RA include predilection for accelerated atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction resulting in coronary artery disease (CAD), stroke, congestive heart failure, and peripheral arterial disease. Some studies have shown that the risk of developing CAD in RA patients is the same as for patients with diabetes mellitus. These patients should be treated with aggressive medical therapy such as disease modifying antirheumatic drugs, tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors, and corticosteroids and with appropriate control of risk factors such as smoking, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and obesity. Other manifestations include pericarditis, myocarditis, and vasculitis.
Keywords: Rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, inflammatory joint disorder, morbidity, mortality, atherosclerosis, endothelial dysfunction, stroke, corticosteroids
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