The CDC has released data that points to an increased mortality risk for postmenopausal women who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

The study details how the life expectancy of RA sufferers is shorter than non sufferers.  That is because those people who have Rheumatoid Arthritis have a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease.  

This finding holds particularly true in postmenopausal women, because women suffer from RA in overwhelming numbers compared to men, 75% compared with 25% for men. 

The progression of RA is different in each individual, probably due to lifestyle and other differences in treatment.  RA is distinguished from other forms of arthritis by the presence of deformation of the joints.  Those deformation cause significant joint damage and disability, which in turn, can significantly impact the lifestyle of the sufferer. 

The study focused on examining levels of Antinuclear Antibodies or ANAs and other factors in 10,000 women in the study group.  The study followed the women of diverse ethnic background for 10 years. 

Of the 10,000, 58% were using last generation anti inflammatories called DMARDs. During the 10 years, 13% of the women died. 

Cancer ad cardiovascular disease, including stroke were the leading causes of death.  The rate of mortality was also affected by risk factors.  

Although the use of anti infammatory drugs is the standard treatment for RA, studies have shown that parallel or equal benefits can be drawn from exercise and the assumption of fish oil to decrease the inherent risks of RA and development of the disease itself. 

In addition, the consumption of fish, more than once a week, and preferably fatty fish, was the only proven way to reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.  A diet rich in polyunsaturated fats, in contrast, quadrupled the risk of developing RA. 

Source : MNT/  12.26.13

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