Arthritis patients especially those with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis are at higher risk of developing heart diseases which can eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Following are the factors responsible for increased risk of heart diseases in patients with arthritis:

  • Chronic Inflammation
  • Lifestyle Factors: It becomes difficult for arthritis patients to stay physically active.
  • Medications: some medicines used in arthritis treatment have side effects that can increase the risk of heart diseases, for example
  • Tocilizumab: This drug increases cholesterol levels
  • Prednisone: As this drug is a steroid, it increases bodyweight
  • Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): These drugs can increase blood pressure.

The Connection Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Heart Diseases

Rheumatoid arthritis doubles the risk of various heart diseases. In rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammation attacks the synovium but it can move to other organs. It can attack the innermost layer of blood vessels, which can lead to plaque build-up. The plaque narrows the arteries and increases the blood pressure. Therefore, the blood flow to the heart and other organs is reduced, which leads to various heart problems.

The risk of heart diseases in rheumatoid arthritis patients can be decreased by bringing inflammation under control, and thereby decreasing the use of medicines that can damage the heart. Also, lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and a healthy diet can help reduce the risk.

The Connection Between Osteoarthritis and Heart Diseases

According to a research, patients with osteoarthritis may be at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disorders. Canadian researchers found that women and older men who suffer from hip or knee osteoarthritis were more susceptible to get hospitalized with heart diseases.

How Osteoarthritis and Heart Disease Are Linked with Each Other?

The risk of heart problems is higher for patients with osteoarthritis due to certain causes such as:

  • Reduced physical activity: Physical activity is decreased in people with joint pains and joint stiffness. It becomes difficult for them to stay active. This increase the risk of heart problems as exercise is vital for heart health.
  • Obesity: Obese people are at greater risk of developing osteoarthritis and cardiovascular diseases. This happens because excess body weight exerts stress on both, the joints as well as the heart.
  • Type-II diabetes: Patients with type-II diabetes have more than double the risk of developing osteoarthritis. And Studies also show that they also have a high risk of heart attack.
  • NSAIDS: NSAIDs used in treatment of osteoarthritis pain may raise the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease Associated with Osteoarthritis?

maintaining a healthy body weight, doing regular exercise and controlling blood sugar level is very important in managing the risk of cardiovascular diseases in patients with osteoarthritis.