Background Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at increased risk for cardiovascular mortality and may therefore benefit from early atherosclerosis detection. Ankle brachial pressure index (ABPI) measurement can detect asymptomatic peripheral atherosclerosis, and isolated ABPI abnormalities can warrant treatment changes according to French recommendations.
Objectives To evlauate the prevalence of ABPI abnormalities in RA in routine pratice.
Methods We studied consecutive 100 patients meeting 1987 American College of Rheumatology criteria for RA when evaluated as inpatients or outpatients in November 2010 at a single rheumatology department. ABPI was measured routinely by a vascular physician. Patients were separated into three groups based on whether the ABPI was <0.9 [decreased arterial flow (DAF)], 0.9 to 1.3 (normal), or >1.3 (arterial stiffness). The three groups were compared using chi-square and Mann-Whitney tests.
Results Of the 100 patients, 85 had normal ABPI values, 10 had DAF, and 5 had stiff arteries. Patients with DAF were older (69.1±12.6 years, P=0.002) and more often had a history of coronary artery disease (40%, P=0.004) compared to patients with normal arteries. The group with incompressible arteries had a larger proportion of patients with diabetes (40%, P=0.034) compared to the group with normal ABPI values.
Conclusions The prevalence of DAF is relatively high in RA, especially in older patients. DAF is strongly associated with coronary artery disease in RA patients.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared