A new study shows that one-fifth of all people with rheumatoid arthritis are not able to keep working two years after they're diagnosed with the condition, and one-third aren't able to keep working within five years of being diagnosed with the condition.
The research, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, shows that people with rheumatoid arthritis also have a 50 percent increased heart attack risk and doubled heart failure risk.
Approximately 1.5 million adults in the U.S. are currently living with rheumatoid arthritis, according to Centers for Disease Control statistics.
The condition is an autoimmune disease, and causes joint swelling that could eventually raise the risk of osteoporosis and bone loss, HuffPost previously reported. There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but there are medications people can take to ease symptoms, Mayo Clinic researchers said.
"It is very important to have rheumatoid arthritis properly diagnosed, and treatment started early on. Getting the disease under control leads to better outcomes for the patient, ability to continue working and taking care of one's self, less need for joint replacement surgery, and reduced risk of heart disease," Dr. Eric Matteson, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic, said in a statement.