Comorbidities quickly accumulate after a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, while a number of common conditions increase the odds of developing the damaging autoimmune disease, a new study has found.

The researchers analyzed health data from more than 3,200 patients in the Mayo Clinic Biobank. They found that people with rheumatoid arthritis have heightened odds of developing heart disease, blood clots and sleep apnea.

Clinicians should be vigilant for these conditions in their patients with rheumatoid arthritis, said corresponding author Vanessa Kronzer, M.D. It’s been shown that people who have comorbidities and rheumatoid arthritis are at a heightened risk for poor outcomes, including functional decline, lowered quality of life and increased mortality, she and her colleagues reported.

The study also revealed that people with inflammatory bowel disease, Type 1 diabetes or blood clots, among other conditions, may be at increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the joints and can damage many body systems, including the lungs, heart and blood vessels.

The study was published this week in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.