Daily Health Headlines

Rheumatoid Arthritis May Shorten Life Span: Study

👤by Robert Preidt 0 comments 🕔Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

TUESDAY, Nov. 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Rheumatoid arthritis may raise the risk of early death by as much as 40 percent, with heart and respiratory problems the most common contributors to a shortened life span, a new study suggests.

And among those who died of respiratory causes, one of the main causes of death was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the researchers reported.

The findings provide new evidence to support previous research suggesting a link between rheumatoid arthritis and increased risk of early death, and they point to the need for doctors to closely monitor these patients, the study authors said.

However, the study only showed an association, and not a cause-and-effect relationship, between rheumatoid arthritis and risk of premature death.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system attacks the joints, resulting in pain and swelling. About 1.3 million people in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis, and of these, nearly 75 percent are women, according to the American College of Rheumatology.

For the study, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston analyzed data from 964 women with rheumatoid arthritis who were part of the Nurses' Health Study, and compared them with women without the disease. The study has followed more than 100,000 registered nurses since 1976.

"Previous studies have suggested that rheumatoid arthritis may be associated with increased mortality, but were not able to control for other variables, such as smoking, that affect both rheumatoid arthritis and mortality risks," study corresponding author Dr. Jeffrey Sparks said in a hospital news release. He is with the division of rheumatology, immunology and allergy at the hospital.

"Because the Nurses' Health Study is so large and has been following participants for so long, we were able to gather much more information about our subjects -- we could follow them before and after diagnosis, take their health behaviors into account and determine specific causes of death," he said.

"By doing so, we found strong evidence of increased risk for respiratory, cardiovascular and overall mortality for patients with rheumatoid arthritis," Sparks said.

The researchers also analyzed differences between the two types of rheumatoid arthritis: seropositive and seronegative. Those with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis -- which typically causes more severe symptoms -- were nearly three times more likely to die of respiratory causes than those with seronegative disease, according to the study. It was published Nov. 3 in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

While many doctors know that rheumatoid arthritis patients are at increased risk of death from heart problems, the new findings highlight the need to watch for respiratory symptoms, even among patients who never smoked or are former smokers, Sparks added.

"We hope that this study will encourage patients and clinicians to be more aware that patients with rheumatoid arthritis are at increased risk of both respiratory and cardiovascular mortality, particularly patients with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis," he said.

-- Robert Preidt

Article Credits / Source

Robert Preidt / HealthDay

Robert Preidt wrote this story for HealthDay. HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCE: Brigham and Women's Hospital, news release, Nov. 2, 2015

View More Articles From Robert Preidt 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Arthritis Articles

Delays in Lupus Care Seen Among Minorities, Less Educated

Delays in Lupus Care Seen Among Minorities, Less Educated0

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Delays in lupus treatment are more common among Americans who are black, Asian or are less educated, a new study finds. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which inflammation affects the skin, ...

Having Rheumatoid Arthritis May Increase Heart Risk

Having Rheumatoid Arthritis May Increase Heart Risk0

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- People with rheumatoid arthritis may have an increased risk for a heart attack, stroke and other heart disease-related problems, a new study suggests. Researchers examined data from 353 rheumatoid ...

Rheumatoid Factor (RF)

Rheumatoid Factor (RF)0

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the body's tissues are mistakenly attacked by their own ...

Health Tip: Keep Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue in Check

Health Tip: Keep Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue in Check0

(HealthDay News) -- Fatigue is a common problem for people with psoriatic arthritis. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, some studies indicate that half of all psoriatic arthritis patients have moderate-to-severe fatigue. The ...

Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Osteoarthritis Symptoms0

Comment by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR Common osteoarthritis symptoms and signs Symptoms of osteoarthritis vary greatly from patient to patient and they depend on the severity of cartilage loss and the joint(s) affected. Many people ...

View More Arthritis Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!