Arthritis and Heart Disease Connection

“The study is interesting as one which suggests a hypothesis of a possible link between RA and atrial fibrillation,” says Eric Matteson, MD, chair of the department of rheumatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “Inflammation in the heart can affect the blood supply to the electrical system of the heart, which can have the result that the normal electrical impulses are not properly conducted. This can lead to rhythm disturbances like atrial fibrillation and even heart block.” Dr. Matteson says more work is needed to better understand this possible association.

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