Health officials say a new study finds that people with arthritis are more likely to die from heart disease than people without the disease.
The Mayo Clinic study, which looked at more than 100,000 people over a three-year period, found that the mortality rate for people with the arthritis was 11 times greater than that of people without it.
The study, conducted by Mayo Clinic researchers and published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, focused on the disease in people aged 50 and older.
Researchers found that people who were diagnosed with arthritis at some point in their lives had a four-fold higher risk of death than those who did not.
People who had arthritis were five times more likely than people who did no other cardiovascular risk factors to die in the study.
The researchers say the findings are the first to show a direct link between arthritis and heart disease.
“This is the first study that has demonstrated a direct association between chronic inflammation and heart failure,” lead author Dr. David M. Krumholz, professor of medicine and public health at Mayo Clinic, said in a statement.
“I believe this is the most important finding of our study to date.”
The Mayo study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the Office of Naval Research, and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
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