User's Manual: Joints

RA and Heart Attacks: 10 Ways to Protect Your Heart


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How to stay healthy

by Amanda Gardner

If you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you also have double the risk for heart disease and heart attack.

This may be partly because body-wide inflammation affects the blood-vessel lining too, says Eric L. Matteson, MD, chair of rheumatology at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn.

Certain RA drugs such as corticosteroids and NSAIDs may also up the risk of heart disease. But here are some things you can do to reduce your risk.

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