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Arthritis and Rheumatism

RA and related problems

10/30/2007

Question:

I have RA and now I also have high blood pressure and pulamary hypertension. I have an identical twin sister that has none of that. I got RA when I was 30 and then my health has gone down hill ever since. I eat healthier and do more exercise then she does. So that rules out genes and lifestyle. So I am thinking that my high blood pressure and pulamary hypertension is caused by my RA or the drugs used to treat my RA. Am I right in thinking that way?

Answer:

Most of the times, high blood pressure is not related to medications. It is not related to rheumatoid arthritis. If you are taking non steroid anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen it may contribute to elevated blood pressure. Rheumatoid arthritis may affect the lungs and cause pulmonary HTN if there is significant fibrosis of lungs due to either rheumatoid arthritis or drugs to treat RA such as methotrexate.

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Response by:

Johnny  Su, MD Johnny Su, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University