The heart in rheumatoid arthritis

Maurizio Turiel, Simona Sitia, Fabiola Atzeni, Livio Tomasoni, Luigi Gianturco, Matteo Giuffrida, Vito De Gennaro Colonna, Piercarlo Sarzi-Puttini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Morbidity and mortality rates are higher in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients than in the general population. Many studies have shown that coronary artery disease is one of the most common causes of death in RA and seems to occur at a younger age than in the general population. RA per se is as much a cardiovascular (CV) risk factor as diabetes, arterial hypertension and dyslipidemia etc., and so it is necessary to plan a follow-up using the same diagnostic and therapeutic approaches as those commonly used for primary and secondary prevention in non-RA patients at high CV risk. All of the cardiac structures can be affected during the course of RA (valves, the conduction system, the myocardium, endocardium and pericardium, and the coronary arteries), and cardiac complications include a variety of clinical manifestations. As these are all associated with an unfavourable prognosis, it is essential to detect subclinical cardiac involvement in still asymptomatic RA patients in order to assure adequate long-term treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-418
Number of pages5
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Cardiac involvement
  • Mortality
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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