Improved incidence of cardiovascular disease in patients with incident rheumatoid arthritis in the 2000s: A population-based cohort study

Elena Myasoedova, John M. Davis, Veronique Lee Roger, Sara J. Achenbach, Cynthia S. Crowson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective. To assess trends in incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality following incident CVD events in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) onset in 1980-2009 vs non-RA subjects. Methods. We studied Olmsted County, Minnesota residents with incident RA (aged > 18 yrs, 1987 American College of Rheumatology criteria met in 1980-2009) and non-RA subjects from the same source population with similar age, sex, and calendar year of index. All subjects were followed until death, migration, or December 31, 2016. Incident CVD events included myocardial infarction and stroke. Patients with CVD before RA incidence/index date were excluded. Cox models were used to compare incident CVD events by decade, adjusting for age, sex, and CVD risk factors. Results. The study included 905 patients with RA and 904 non-RA subjects. Cumulative incidence of any CVD event was lower in patients with incident RA in the 2000s vs the 1980s. The HR for any incident CVD in the 2000s vs 1980s was 0.53 (95% CI 0.31-0.93). The strength of association attenuated after adjustment for anti-rheumatic medication use (HR 0.64, 95% CI 0.34-1.22). Patients with RA in the 2000s had no excess in CVD over non-RA subjects (HR 0.71, 95% CI 0.42-1.19). Risk of death after a CVD event was somewhat lower in patients with RA after the 1980s with an HR of 0.54 (95% CI 0.33-0.90) in the 1990s vs 1980s and 0.68 (95% CI 0.33-1.41) in the 2000s vs 1980s. Conclusion. The incidence of major CVD events in RA has declined in recent decades. The gap in CVD occurrence between patients with RA and the general population is closing. Mortality after CVD events in RA may be improving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1379-1387
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Volume48
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

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