Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder that can lead to swelling developing in the joints usually between the fingers and toes. The swelling can be problematic enough that the bone itself may begin to erode and the joint itself may grow to be deformed. Rheumatoid arthritis is not dependent on age, but it is most commonly found in individuals who are over 40 years old.

Arthritis and the heart

Although rheumatoid arthritis is certainly an unpleasant part of getting older for some people, even those individuals would likely be happy to endure the pain that comes from this condition as opposed to dealing with the possible threat of heart disease. Unfortunately, enduring one does not mean being absolved of the other, and there are segments of the population who deal with both ailments. There are interesting links, which exist between both ailments however, and one of them involves age. Both rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease commonly present themselves in individuals who are already on the older side of the bracket. Both of these ailments may also present themselves primarily as instances of inflammation within the body.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the inflammation localized to the joints while heart disease may in certain cases also is caused by inflammation of the heart valves and other parts of it. There also happens to be another unfortunate fact that links both ailments. It is widely known within the medical community that rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease are closely linked to one another, and the possession of the former is usually a good indicator that the latter may be in that person’s future. It’s not all bad, as there may be something positive to glean from the link between rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease, especially in terms of medication.

Multi-purpose medication

In a recent study, it was discovered that drugs specifically taken for the purpose of alleviating and treating the pain that is associated with rheumatoid also has a positive effect on heart disease. In that very study, the findings have indicated that the drugs known as anti-TNFs or otherwise known as tumor necrosis factor inhibitors are helping to drastically reduce the likelihood of heart attacks in the people take them. The findings are surprising, but when taking into account all the similarities that exist between the two, the fact that they may be a form of medication that is beneficial for both should not be wholly unexpected. Considering that both ailments have ties related to inflammation, a form of medication that may help with this could in theory be helpful to both, and that is seen as one of the factors that is driving the additional benefit of the anti-TNFs. The discovery of the new benefits may go a long way towards making life more comfortable for people who are suffering from these ailments.