Co-morbidity in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis - inflammation matters
2016 (English)In: Arthritis Research & Therapy, ISSN 1478-6354, E-ISSN 1478-6362, Vol. 18, 33Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Background: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) suffer from co-morbidities that contribute to a shortened lifespan. Inflammation is important for the development of cardiovascular disease, but little is known on its relationship with other co-morbidities. We investigated the role of inflammation for the development of new comorbidities in early RA. Methods: Since 1995, all patients with early RA in Northern Sweden are included in a prospective study on comorbidities, with a total of 950 patients being included. At the time for this study, 726 had been ill for >= 5 years. Data on co-morbidities, clinical and laboratory disease activity and pharmacological therapy were collected from patient records and further validated using a questionnaire at RA onset (T0) and after 5 years (T5). Results: Of the patients, 53.2 % of the patients had one or more co-morbidity at onset, the commonest being: hypertension (27.3 %), obstructive pulmonary disease (13.9 %), diabetes (8.0 %), hypothyroidism (6.3 %) and malignancy (5.0 %). After 5 years, 41.0 % had developed at least one new co-morbidity, the most common being: hypertension (15.1 %), malignancy (7.6 %), stroke/transient ischemic accident (5.1 %), myocardial infarction (4.3 %) and osteoporosis (3.7 %). Age at disease onset, a raised erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) at inclusion, previous treatment with glucocorticoids (GC; p < 0.001 for all), extra-articular RA (Ex-RA; p < 0.01), DAS28 (area under the curve) at 24 months (p < 0.05), previous smoking at inclusion (p = 0.058) and male gender (p < 0.01) were associated with a new co-morbidity overall at T5. Treatment with biologics (p < 0.05) reduced the risk. In multiple logistic regression modelling, ESR (p = 0.036) at inclusion was associated with a new co-morbidity after 5 years, adjusted for age, sex, smoking and GC treatment. In a similar model, Ex-RA (p < 0.05) was associated with a new co-morbidity at T5. In a third model, adjusted for age and sex, a new pulmonary co-morbidity was associated with a smoking history at inclusion (p < 0.01), but not with ESR. Conclusion: There was substantial co-morbidity among early RA patients already at disease onset, with considerable new co-morbidity being added during the first five years. Measures of disease activity were associated with the occurrence of a new co-morbidity indicating that the inflammation is of importance in this context.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2016. Vol. 18, 33
Early rheumatoid arthritis, Co-morbidity, Inflammation
Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-117189DOI: 10.1186/s13075-016-0928-yISI: 000368655100001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-117189DiVA: diva2:906465