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18-03-2015 | Comorbidities | Article

Managing Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Clinical Updates and Three Strategic Approaches

Current Rheumatology Reports

Authors: Ann M. Chodara, Aimée Wattiaux, Christie M. Bartels

Publisher: Springer US


The increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is well known; however, appropriate management of this elevated risk in rheumatology clinics is less clear.

Purpose of Review

By critically reviewing literature published within the past 5 years, we aim to clarify current knowledge and gaps regarding CVD risk management in RA.

Recent Findings

We examine recent guidelines, recommendations, and evidence and discuss three approaches: (1) RA-specific management including treat-to-target and medication management, (2) assessment of comprehensive individual risk, and (3) targeting traditional CVD risk factors (hypertension, smoking, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity) at a population level. Considering that 75% of US RA visits occur in specialty clinics, further research is needed regarding evidence-based strategies to manage and reduce CVD risk in RA.


This review highlights clinical updates including US cardiology and international professional society guidelines, successful evidence-based population approaches from primary care, and novel opportunities in rheumatology care to reduce CVD risk in RA.

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