RA and CV Factors Equal in Risk of Cardiovascular Events
Certain cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease factors have a similar effect on an RA patient's risk of experiencing myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke, according to a new study presented at the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism.
The researchers studied 10,870 RA patients for a median of 24 months across two cohorts - patients with active RA and those with prior experience of CVD. The CVD risk factors leading to an increased relative risk of MI or stroke were as follows: non-Caucasian ethnicity, body mass index, prior MI and any current tobacco use. The RA disease factors leading to an increased relative risk of MI or stroke were as follows: nodules, Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI) and the Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI). Statistical models demonstrated a comparable relationship with CVD endpoints for both RA and CVD risk factors.
Lead investigator, Professor Daniel H. Solomon of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston said, "It has been established that people with RA are more likely to experience cardiovascular disease or complications than the general population, but our research examines the importance of RA-specific factors compared with traditional cardiovascular risk factors. We have shown that having more high risk RA-specific risk factors increases the CVD risk to a rate similar to that of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. We hope that the results of our study lead to more robust clinical prediction rules for CVD outcomes in RA along with appropriate management and treatment options for the future."
This article adapted from a press release issued by European League Against Rheumatism.