Objective. To investigate the incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared to the general population. Methods. A population-based inception cohort of Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents with incident RA in 1980-2007 and a cohort of non-RA subjects from the same population base were assembled and followed until 12/31/2008. The occurrence of AF was ascertained by medical record review. Results. The study included 813 patients with RA and 813 non-RA subjects (mean age 55.9 (SD:15.7) years, 68% women in both cohorts). The prevalence of AF was similar in the RA and non-RA cohorts at RA incidence/index date (4% versus 3%; P=0.51). The cumulative incidence of AF during follow-up was higher among patients with RA compared to non-RA subjects (18.3% versus 16.3% at 20 years; P=0.048). This difference persisted after adjustment for age, sex, calendar year, smoking, and hypertension (hazard ratio: 1.46; 95% CI: 1.07, 2.00). There was no evidence of a differential impact of AF on mortality in patients with RA compared to non-RA subjects (hazard ratio 2.5 versus 2.8; interaction P=0.31). Conclusion. The incidence of AF is increased in patients with RA, even after adjustment for AF risk factors. AF related mortality risk did not differ between patients with and without RA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)