Does rheumatoid arthritis affect the heart and lungs?

How does rheumatoid arthritis affect the heart?

Inflammatory substances called cytokines fuel joint destruction in RA and blood vessel damage in CVD. Inflammation causes plaque build-up in the arteries, which slowly narrows blood vessels and blocks blood flow, and is the main cause of heart attack and stroke.

How do I know if RA is affecting my lungs?

The lung problems most often linked to rheumatoid arthritis include: Scarring within the lungs. Scarring related to long-term inflammation (interstitial lung disease) may cause shortness of breath, a chronic dry cough, fatigue, weakness and loss of appetite.

What happens when RA attacks the lungs?

In the case of RA-associated ILD, the scarring is caused when the over-active immune system attacks the lungs. When the scarring builds up over time, breathing becomes difficult, and patients may need lung transplants to regain function.

What is the life expectancy of a person with rheumatoid arthritis?

RA can reduce a person’s life expectancy by as much as 10 to 15 years, although many people live with their symptoms beyond the age of 80 or even 90 years. Factors affecting RA prognosis include a person’s age, disease progression, and lifestyle factors, such as smoking and being overweight.

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How long can you live with rheumatoid lung disease?

According to research that looked at 10 studies, the median survival rate for people with interstitial lung disease due to RA was 3.2 years to 8.1 years from the time of diagnosis. Additionally, issues affecting the lungs can change over time. Further lung complications can develop and become increasingly severe.

What is Felty syndrome?

General Discussion. Felty syndrome is usually described as associated with or a complication of rheumatoid arthritis. This disorder is generally defined by the presence of three conditions: rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an enlarged spleen (spenomelgaly) and a low white blood cell count (neutropenia).

What is RA lung?

Rheumatoid lung disease is a group of lung problems related to rheumatoid arthritis. The condition can include: Blockage of the small airways (bronchiolitis obliterans) Fluid in the chest (pleural effusions) High blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension)

What benefits can I claim with rheumatoid arthritis?

If you have a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis, you should be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Through the Social Security Administration (SSA), the federal government provides these cash payments to those who are unable to work due to an illness or injury for at least a year.

Is rheumatoid lung disease fatal?

Gregory M. Weiss, M.D. Patients who have RA and interstitial lung disease are at higher risk for dying than those who do not.

When should you stop working with rheumatoid arthritis?

The simple answer for when to stop working with rheumatoid arthritis is that if you cannot physically perform your job functions because of it. If you believe that your rheumatoid arthritis will make it impossible for you to work for at least a year, then you may want to apply for Social Security disability benefits.

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How serious is rheumatoid arthritis?

Because RA is a progressive disease, symptoms typically get worse. If left untreated, it can cause severe damage to the joints and serious complications in the major organs. However, there are a number of effective treatments, and proper treatment is critical to managing the progression of RA.