In this video, Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains that people with RA have increased risk of heart disease. This is thought to be due to the inflammatory disease process that accompanies rheumatoid arthritis.
The earlier a person is diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, the earlier treatment can begin. Most of the treatments of modern day are focused at attacking the disease at its core, attempting to induce remission from the destructive, inflammatory effects of this disease. It is hoped that controlling the disease in this way will help patients have more pain free, productive time in their lives and that the damage to joints and potential heart disease can be diminished.
If you think you might have rheumatoid arthritis, do not hesitate to seek medical help. You can also help yourself in a couple of ways:
1) Exercise as per your doctor's recommendations and
2) consider the anti inflammatory diet! (Follow this link to my first post on this topic, but there are others in this blog if you want to look into it a little more.)