The role of traditional cardiovascular risk factors among patients with rheumatoid arthritis

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Brady, S. R. E, de Courten, Barbora, Reid, Christopher, Cicuttini, F. M, de Courten, Maximilian and Liew, Danny (2009) The role of traditional cardiovascular risk factors among patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Rheumatology, 36 (1). pp. 34-40. ISSN 0315-162X (print) 1499-2752 (online)


Objective People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared with the general population. We investigated the relative contribution of traditional cardiovascular risk factors to this elevated risk. Methods Fifty RA subjects and 150 age and sex matched controls attended a cardiovascular risk assessment clinic betweenMarch and July 2006. Traditional cardiovascular risk factors and the absolute risks of CVD (calculated from application of a Framingham risk equation) were compared between the 2 groups. Results Compared with the controls, RA subjects were more likely to smoke (p < 0.001), be physically inactive (p = 0.006), and have higher mean measurements of body mass index (p = 0.040) and waist circumference (p = 0.049). No significant differences were found in mean levels of plasma lipid or glucose, or in the prevalences of diabetes and hypertension. Overall, the mean absolute risk of CVD was higher in the RA group, even after excluding smokers (p = 0.036). Conclusion Smoking and physical inactivity are important risk factors in the management of cardiovascular risk among patients with RA. Subjects with RA seem to have higher absolute risks of CVD compared with controls, even independently of smoking. This highlights the importance of treating all modifiable risk factors in those with RA although, individually, few may be conspicuous.

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Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1102 Cardiorespiratory Medicine and Haematology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1103 Clinical Sciences
Current > Division/Research > College of Health and Biomedicine
Keywords rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, risk factors
Citations in Scopus 42 - View on Scopus
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