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Paper of the Day - RA steroid therapy increases risk of hypertension

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who need to use medium dose corticosteroids long term should have their blood pressure regularly monitored and treated aggressively if they develop hypertension say UK researchers.

They categorised 400 patients with RA into three groups based on long term corticosteroid exposure. The prevalence of hypertension was 84.7% in the medium dose group (more than 7.5 mg a day) , 70.7% in the low dose group (less than 7.5 mg a day) and 67.3% in those with limited or no exposure.

Those on medium doses were almost 3 times more likely to develop hypertension than those with low or no exposure.

Rheumatology 2008; 47(1): 72-75.

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