Objective: To compare the frequency of and trends in hospitalizations after heart failure (HF) diagnosis in patients with and without rheumatoid arthritis (RA) during 1987–2015. Methods: The study included a retrospectively identified population-based cohort of patients with incident HF and prior RA (age≥18 years, 1987 ACR criteria) and a cohort of incident HF patients without RA matched 3:1 on age, sex, and year of HF diagnosis. Hospitalizations at the time of HF diagnosis were excluded. All subjects were followed until death, migration, or 12/31/2015. Results: The study included 212 patients with RA (mean age at HF diagnosis 78.3 years; 68% female) and 636 non-RA patients (mean age at HF diagnosis 78.6 years; 68% female). The hospitalization rate after HF diagnosis was higher in RA vs non-RA (rate ratio [RR] 1.17; 95%CI 1.08-1.26). Hospitalization rates in both groups have been declining since 2005 and the difference between patients with and without RA may be decreasing after 2010. The magnitude of the increase was similar in both sexes and across all ages. Patients with RA were more likely to be hospitalized for non-cardiovascular causes (RR 1.26; 95%CI 1.14-1.39), but not for HF or other cardiovascular causes compared to non-RA patients. Conclusions: The hospitalization rate following HF diagnosis was higher in RA versus non-RA patients regardless of sex and age. Increased hospitalization risk in patients with RA was driven by increased rates of non-cardiovascular hospitalization.
- Heart failure
- Rheumatoid arthritis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine