Rheumatoid arthritis is an independent risk factor for multi-vessel coronary artery disease: a case control study.

Kenneth J. Warrington, Peter D. Kent, Robert L. Frye, James F. Lymp, Stephen L. Kopecky, Jörg J. Goronzy, Cornelia M. Weyand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

120 Scopus citations

Abstract

The risk for cardiovascular (CV) disease is increased in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but data on the burden of coronary atherosclerosis in patients with RA are lacking. We conducted a retrospective case-control study of Olmsted County (MN, USA) residents with RA and new-onset coronary artery disease (CAD) (n = 75) in comparison with age-and sex-matched controls with newly diagnosed CAD (n = 128). Angiographic scores of the first coronary angiogram and data on CV risk factors and CV events on follow-up were obtained by chart abstraction. Patients with RA were more likely to have multi-vessel coronary involvement at first coronary angiogram compared with controls (P = 0.002). Risk factors for CAD including diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and smoking history were not significantly different in the two cohorts. RA remained a significant risk factor for multi-vessel disease after adjustment for age, sex and history of hyperlipidemia. The overall rate of CV events was similar in RA patients and controls; however, there was a trend for increased CV death in patients with RA. In a nested cohort of patients with RA and CAD (n = 27), we measured levels of pro-inflammatory CD4+CD28null T cells by flow cytometry. These T cells have been previously implicated in the pathogenesis of CAD and RA. Indeed, CD4+CD28null T cells were significantly higher in patients with CAD and co-existent RA than in controls with stable angina (P = 0.001) and reached levels found in patients with acute coronary syndromes. Patients with RA are at increased risk for multi-vessel CAD, although the risk of CV events was not increased in our study population. Expansion of CD4+CD28null T cells in these patients may contribute to the progression of atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R984-991
JournalArthritis research & therapy
Volume7
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2005

    Fingerprint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this

Warrington, K. J., Kent, P. D., Frye, R. L., Lymp, J. F., Kopecky, S. L., Goronzy, J. J., & Weyand, C. M. (2005). Rheumatoid arthritis is an independent risk factor for multi-vessel coronary artery disease: a case control study. Arthritis research & therapy, 7(5), R984-991.