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13-01-2020 | Rheumatoid arthritis | News

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Insufficient management of RA-associated cardiovascular risk in primary care

Author: Claire Barnard

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medwireNews: Qualitative study results highlight the need for better understanding and management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-associated cardiovascular (CV) risk in primary care.

Of 233 US primary care providers who took part in the cross-sectional survey, just 15.0% reported actively initiating a discussion about CV risk with RA patients, while only 37.3% said they felt well prepared to manage CV risk. A total of 70.4% reported feeling comfortable prescribing CV medications for RA patients with comorbid CV disease, but this decreased to 50.6% for primary prevention in those without preexisting CV disease.

Moreover, the majority of participants said they were either “not at all satisfied” or “slightly satisfied” with medical education on RA-associated CV risk.

Therefore, “[t]here is a need for increased physician awareness of RA as a novel risk factor for [coronary artery disease] as well as the importance of managing this risk,” writes study author Stella Pak (Orange Regional Medical Center, New York, USA), recommending that “[e]ducation should begin early in medical school and residency.”

And the researcher concludes in Clinical Rheumatology: “A change in physician practice habits may lead to increased awareness among patients with RA about their increased cardiovascular risk and equip them to successfully implement preventive lifestyle modifications.”

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2020 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

Clin Rheumatol 2019; doi:10.1007/s10067-019-04901-x

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