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Decline in risk of dementia and heart failure in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It can also cause fatigue, and the underlying inflammation may affect other body systems. Dementia is a symptom of damage to the brain, which can be caused by a number of different diseases—for example, Alzeimer’s. Symptoms include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, confusion, and mood changes. It is not known what causes all types of dementia, but it is it thought that some of the damage could be caused by other underlying diseases. Heart failure happens when the heart becomes weak or stiff, and is not able to pump blood around the body properly. People with heart failure may be breathless even when at rest, feel very tired, and have swollen ankles or legs.