Gated SPECT used to determine rheumatoid arthritis puts patients at greater risk of heart attack

May 5, 2015

Patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis are at greater risk of suffering a 'surprise' heart attack, experts have warned. 

A team of cardiologists found around 25 per cent of arthritis sufferers are at risk of being struck by an attack out of the blue - despite having no history of heart disease. For those patients, their risk was twice that of people without arthritis. Researchers warned all those diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis should be warned of their increased predisposition to coronary heart disease.

Dr Adriana Puente, a cardiologist in the National Medical Centre '20 de Noviembre' ISSSTE in Mexico City, said: 'Our study suggests that one quarter of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and no symptoms of heart disease could have a heart attack without prior warning.

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