RA Increases Risk for Blood Clots

More evidence shows RA patients have at least twice the risk.

Arthritis Today—August 23, 2013

A new study published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases adds to the evidence that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) increases the risk of developing venous thromboembolism (VTE), or blood clots in the veins.

VTE is comprised of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

The researchers found RA patients were more than three times as likely as the controls to develop DVT and twice as likely to develop a PE.

Anne R. Bass, MD, a rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, says the emergence of RA as a risk factor for VTE parallels the emergence of RA as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

“This is comparable to the recognition 10 or 15 years ago that RA was associated with a higher risk of cardiac death and congestive heart failure. [Researchers] began to tease out [whether] that was due to the disease or treatment, and they even showed treatment reduced the risk of cardiac death,” says Dr. Bass. “So right now we are beginning to show, yes, there is higher risk of VTE with RA. Studies now need to show if it’s the RA itself or therapies [to treat it]. And if you give good therapies, do you reduce the risk back to what it would be without RA?”

Read the full story at arthritistoday.org.

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