Prevalence of cardiovascular diseases and traditional cardiovascular risk factors in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a real-life evidence from BioSTAR nationwide registry

Duruöz M. T., Ataman Ş., Bodur H., Çay H. F., Melikoğlu M. A., Akgül Ö., ...More

Rheumatology International, vol.44, no.2, pp.291-301, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00296-023-05515-y
  • Journal Name: Rheumatology International
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.291-301
  • Keywords: Cardiovascular risk, Comorbidity, Major adverse cardiac events, Prevalence, Rheumatoid arthritis, Secondary disease prevention
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have increased morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular (CV) comorbidities. The association of CV diseases (CVD) and traditional CV risk factors has been debated, depending on patient and RA characteristics. This study aimed to find the prevalence of CVD and CV risk factors in patients with RA. A multi-center cross-sectional study was performed on RA patients using the BioSTAR (Biological and Targeted Synthetic Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs Registry) in September 2022. Socio-demographic, clinical, and follow-up data were collected. Myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease, peripheral vascular disorders, congestive heart failure, ischemic stroke, and transient ischemic attack were regarded as major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs). CVD was defined as the presence of at least one clinical situation of MACE. Group 1 and Group 2 included patients with and without CVD. Prevalence rates of CVD and traditional CV risk factors were the primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes were the differences in the clinical characteristics between patients with and without CVD. An analysis of 724 patients with a mean age of 55.1 ± 12.8 years diagnosed with RA was conducted. There was a female preponderance (79.6%). The prevalence rate of CVD was 4.6% (n = 33). The frequencies of the diseases in the MACE category were ischemic heart disease in 27, congestive heart failure in five, peripheral vascular disorders in three, and cerebrovascular events in three patients. The patients with CVD (Group 1) were significantly male, older, and had higher BMI (p = 0.027, p < 0.001, and p = 0.041). Obesity (33.4%) and hypertension (27.2%) were the two CV risk factors most frequently. Male sex (HR = 7.818, 95% CI 3.030–20.173, p < 0.001) and hypertension (HR = 4.570, 95% CI 1.567–13.328, p = 0.005) were the independent risk factors for CVD. The prevalence of CVD in RA patients was 4.6%. Some common risk factors for CVD in the general population, including male sex, older age, and hypertension, were evident in RA patients. Male sex and hypertension were the independent risk factors for developing CVD in patients with RA.