Background Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with increased cardiovascular mortality due to myocardial infarction, stroke and heart failure. Both, chronic inflammation leading to arterial stiffness, and some of the drugs used to treat RA, such as corticosteroids and leflunomide, are risk factors for developing arterial hypertension (HT).
Objectives The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of HT in outpatients with RA at a rheumatology office in Buenos Aires, and describe their relationship with clinical, laboratory and disease activity
Methods We evaluated consecutive outpatients with a diagnosis of RA according ACR 90 criteria that attend to the Rheumatology office of a public hospital in Buenos Aires. Blood pressure (BP) was assessed by 3 protocolized measurements, clinical data was collected and disease activity was evaluated by DAS28-ESD. Statistical analysis was performed to establish prevalence of hypertension and to establish association with clinical and laboratory variables using Mann Whitney and Chi Square test. Significance was p≤0.05.
Results We analyzed 99 patients (85.9% female and 14.1% male) with a mean age of 51.3 years old (range 26-80). 79.8% had Functional Class I and II. The prevalence of hypertension in our population was 50.5%. The median time to progression of RA: 9.57 years, DAS 28: 4.06 (range: 1.54 to 7.55), 65.7% of individuals take corticosteroids. HT was associated with age (56.16 years (26-80) the HT patients versus 46.35 years (26-81) for non HT patients(p <0.0001). The abdominal diameter was greater for the HT group (95.74 cm (92.31- 99.17) versus 90.59 cm (86.67 - 94.51) (p=0.035). The other analyzed variables don´t show statistical significance
Conclusions Almost a half of RA patients had blood hypertension at the medical office during a standard control. It was significantly related to age and abdominal diameter. It was higher than the prevalence for the general population of Buenos Aires
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Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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