You should have your cholesterol levels checked if you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Your doctor should also assess your overall heart and blood vessel disease risk. This is usually done by your primary care provider (PCP) or family doctor. Sometimes, even your rheumatologist will tell you to get your cholesterol tested. It doesn’t matter who orders the test, just make sure to get it checked.

High cholesterol puts you at risk for heart and blood vessel disease. This includes heart attack and stroke. People with RA are already at higher risk for this than people who don’t have RA.

When you are taking medicine to lower your cholesterol or treat your RA, you may also need your cholesterol levels checked. Testing is done before you start treatment. It is also done about 4 to 12 weeks after starting or changing treatment. So, it makes sense that your PCP and rheumatologist may work together to get these tests done.

Get your cholesterol checked. Make sure both your PCP and rheumatologist get the results. They can help you take action to lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.

If you have RA, get your cholesterol checked!