Rheumatoid arthritis patients remain unaware of CV risk

(HealthDay)—Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have low awareness about associated cardiovascular (CV) risk, according to a study published online April 20 in ACR Open Rheumatology.

Shubhasree Banerjee, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a telephone survey of 185 patients with RA participating in the Consortium of Rheumatology Researchers of North America RA registry. Questions assessed knowledge about CV disease risk in RA and how patients learned about that risk.

The researchers found that 47 percent of patients were aware that RA was a CV risk factor. Awareness was lower among those with older age (odds ratio [OR], 0.6) and those who smoked (OR, 0.4), whereas disease duration of >10 years was associated with patient knowledge (OR, 5.2). One in four patients reported counseling by physicians, mostly rheumatologists, on CV risk in RA. Patient-reported counseling was higher with disease duration of >10 years (OR, 3.9) and lower among patients with hypertension (OR, 0.4).

“This is an unmet need in clinical practice, which may be overcome by multimodal approaches such as developing websites, organizing symposiums, and involving health care providers at various levels,” write the authors.

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