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Anders Hammerich Riis

​Risk of major adverse cardiovascular events among patients with rheumatoid arthritis after initial CT-based diagnosis and treatment

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OBJECTIVE: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a known risk factor for developing coronary artery disease (CAD). The influence of RA on the prognosis after initial CAD diagnosis and treatment is however largely unknown. We examined the risk of major cardiovascular events among RA and non-RA patients with chest pain referred to cardiac CT.

METHODS: This was a follow-up study, using data from the Western Denmark Heart Registry, containing data on CT angiography examinations (Cardiac CT). Information on RA diagnosis and covariates were identified through nationwide administrative registers. The primary outcome was a combined outcome including, myocardial infarction, ischaemic or unspecified stroke, coronary artery bypass grafting, percutaneous coronary intervention, and all-cause mortality. Median time until events or censoring was 3.5 years (min/max: 0.0: 9.2). Cox proportional hazard models were used to examine the association between RA/non-RA patients and outcomes.

RESULTS: Among 42 257 patients, referred between 2008 and 2016, we identified 358 (0.8%) with RA. An increased risk was seen in RA compared with non-RA (adjusted HR 1.35, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.96). Among patients who had received flare treatment more than once prior to cardiac CT the adjusted HR 1.80 (95% CI 1.08 to 3.00), and among patients with seropositive RA the adjusted HR 1.42 (95% CI 0.93 to 2.16).

CONCLUSION: In patients referred to cardiac CT due to chest pain, we found a trend of an association between RA and the combined primary outcome, supporting that RA per se, but in particular seropositive and active RA, may increase the risk of CAD even after initial CAD diagnosis and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001113
JournalRMD Open
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

    Research areas

  • cardiovascular disease, epidemiology, rheumatoid arthritis

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