The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society ( NRAS ) is delighted to announce the launch of its online, interactive educational program 'Love your Heart'. It will help those with the debilitating condition Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) understand why they are at the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the impact RA can have on the most important organ – the heart.

Love Your Heart has been developed in partnership with Consultant Rheumatologist, Dr. Holly John. This follows extremely promising results that it achieved in a face-to-face group setting. NRAS is making the program widely available to everyone with this serious autoimmune condition so that they have the opportunity to find out why they are at increased risk of CVD and provide tools to help them lower their own individual CVD risk.

"The increased risk of CVD for RA sufferers has the same level of severity as those who suffer with type 2 diabetes It's astonishing how many people with RA do not know that their condition could be detrimental to their heart. easy to manage risk factors that are within your control from home with a healthier lifestyle, so your heart will be able to raise awareness of this and help to address this major co-morbidity which can shorten the lives of those with RA, " said Dr. John.

Love Your Heart is available for people to register for, free of charge, at: https://www.nras.org.uk/loveyourheart ; It is an engaging, educational platform, where people who participate in the program will be able to:

  1. Understand the reasons why RA increases CVD risk
  2. Calculate a QRISK®2 score (a GP recognized prediction algorithm for CVD)
  3. Learn how to reduce the risk of CVD
  4. Log progress through a series of behavioral goals

Ailsa Bosworth, Founder and CEO of NRAS said, "In spite of the numbers of people with RA in the UK (> 400,000) it does not have the public awareness of diseases such as Parkinson's (127,000) and Multiple Sclerosis (100,000). is still a relatively misunderstood and invisible disease. Getting to diagnosis can therefore be challenging as people do not recognize the symptoms as a medical emergency. "

"Equally, the increased risk of CVD is relatively unknown and I'm really excited to have worked with Dr. John and hope that the Love your Heart program will help those with RA, like myself, to lead to longer and healthier life by addressing those risk factors that are within our own control. " Bosworth is hoping that NRAS 'Love Your Heart program will have a real impact on helping to reduce the risk of CVD in people with RA.

"It is unique in that it does not only provide patient education, but it also provides a goal setting structure through which patients will change their behavior. The data from this program will also significantly help rheumatologists and GPs , and will become a referral platform when people are diagnosed This is what can be achieved when patient-led charity organizations work alongside healthcare professionals and we are hugely excited by its potential, "Bosworth concluded.