Add lower gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers, bleeding and perforations
to the list of serious complications facing many rheumatoid arthritis patients.
They are at greater risk for GI problems and gastrointestinal-related death
than people without the disease, a Mayo Clinic study shows. Researchers say
their findings point out the need for new ways to prevent and treat lower GI
disease in rheumatoid arthritis patients; the incidence of lower
gastrointestinal complications is rising even as upper GI problems decrease
significantly among rheumatoid arthritis patients.
“Our findings emphasize that physicians and patients must be vigilant for these
complications, which can occur without causing abdominal pain,” says co-author Eric Matteson, M.D., rheumatology chairman at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. “Especially stopping smoking and reducing the use of corticosteroids would appear to be important in reducing the risk of major lower GI complications.”
For more details, go to: http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2012-rst/6797.html .