Background Inflammatory joint diseases are systemic processes conveying an increased risk for cardiovascular (CV) diseases. The traditional risk factor profile does not explain the augmented risk in inflammatory joint diseases. Most work on CV risk evaluation has been done on established disease. We aimed to evaluate the occurrence of metabolic syndrome (MetS), a cardiovascular risk constellation, by using a simple and clinically applicable method, the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATPIII) definition of MetS, at diagnosis of and before any disease modifying treatment for, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), spondyloarthritis (SpA) and undifferentiated arthritis (UA), in a population based inception cohort.
Objectives To investigate the occurrence of MetS among patients with newly diagnosed RA, SpA and UA.
Methods Patients with inflammatory joint diseases participating in Northern Savo 2010 Study were evaluated for components of MetS according to the definition by NCEP-ATPIII.
Results Two-hundred and two patients, 58 with RA, 69 with SpA and 75 with UA, were classified according to their metabolic condition. MetS was detected in half of the patients with RA and UA and in one third of patients with SpA. There were no differences between the sexes. Disease activity increased along with the number of MetS components in RA and UA, but the association was significant only in UA, p=0.021.
Conclusions Metabolic syndrome is common already at diagnosis of inflammatory joint diseases. If this is a consequence of the insiduously progressing rheumatoid inflammation, or a risk factor in itself for rheumatic diseases, is an intriguing question. Nevertheless, metabolic syndrome contributes to the inflammatory activity of arthritis and efforts to influence the metabolic burden should be undertaken right from the beginning of treating early arthritis.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared