Take these simple steps:
- If heart disease runs in your family, tell your doctor.
- Don't smoke.
- Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat protein (such as poultry, fish, beans, nuts, seeds, and low-fat dairy), and whole grains.
- Limit salt and saturated fats.
- Avoid foods made with trans fats. (Check the label for “partially hydrogenated” ingredients.)
- Get plenty of physical activity. Ask your doctor if there are any limits on what you can do.
- Keep up with your checkups and tests for conditions that affect your heart, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
- Stay at a healthy weight.
The Inflammation Connection
Ask your doctor if your RA medicines will make you more likely to get heart disease. Ask what you can do to manage that risk.
Your doctor can help you decide if your medications and doses are right for your heart health. If you have other risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol, she may prescribe other drugs. These could include statins, which lower your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol.