Knowledge and Outcomes in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Its Cardiovascular Manifestations: Closing the Gap

Target Audience:

Family Physicians and Internal Medicine Physicians, Cardiologists along with Rheumatologist that diagnosis and treat Rheumatoid Arthritis. In addition, Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners will be targeted for this activity.

Program Overview:

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a devastating immune-mediated inflammatory disease that affects approximately 1% of the adults in the United States. RA preferentially targets the synovial lining of the joints; however, its extra-articular manifestations impact many tissues and organs beyond the musculoskeletal system. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease stemming from both traditional and RA-specific risk factors is responsible for most of the excess mortality in RA. This educational program will address knowledge gaps about the epidemiology and presentation of CVD in RA, and help participants understand how control of traditional risk factors and aggressive treatment of systemic inflammation may boost RA patients' CV outcomes. Additionally, this program will help participants recognize the less common cardiovascular sequelae of RA, including heart failure, coronary vasculitis, amyloidosis-related cardiomyopathy, and pericarditis. The activity consists of a monograph and an interactive case study.


National Jewish Health is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation:

National Jewish Health designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty Listing:

Darlene Kim, MD
Assistant Professor
Division of Cardiology
National Jewish Health
Barbara Goldstein, MD, MMSc
Instructor of Medicine
Division of Rheumatology
National Jewish Health


  • Describe the rationale for early administration of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
  • Discuss the 2010 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) criteria for the classification of RA and their clinical implications.
  • Develop strategies for educating RA patients about the importance of medication adherence.
  • Discuss the relationship between cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis and list strategies for assessment and reduction of CV risk factors in RA.
  • Evaluate the association between rheumatoid arthritis pharmacotherapies and cardiovascular risk.
  • Explain the importance of controlling systemic inflammation in improving cardiovascular outcomes.

Financial Disclosure:

In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, National Jewish Health requires that all persons in a position to control the content of a CME activity disclose all significant financial interest with commercial interests including the review committee.

Darlene Kim, MD has no financial relationships to disclose.

Barbara Goldstein, MD, MMSc has no financial relationships to disclose.

Harold Nelson, MDis a consultant for Merck, Shionogi, and Pearl Pharmaceuticals, and is an investigator for Lincoln Diagnostics, Rigel, and Circassia.

Cindy Lampner, MLIS, has no financial disclosures to disclose.