Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis not only interfere with daily activities. Rheumatoid arthritis patients also have an increased risk for atrial fibrillation, a condition in which an irregular heart rhythm. That condition is a condition strongly associated with stroke.
In a new study involving more than 4 million adults in Denmark, patients with rheumatoid arthritis were 40 percent more likely to have atrial fibrillation than the general population and 30 percent more likely to suffer a stroke.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder or inflammation that usually affects the joints of the hands and feet. Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include, swelling and stiffness in the joints, and fatigue.
“Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are known to have a higher risk of heart attack. But research into the impact of inflammatory joint disease in stroke have been inconsistent. In our study, rheumatoid arthritis is associated with an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation and stroke. If inflammatory conditions that encourage such relationships , then drugs that control inflammation may also reduce the risk of stroke, “said researcher Jesper Lindhardsen, MD, of Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte as reported by WebMD. (more…)