Background Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by symmetric peripheral synovial joint involvement. The most common mortality cause in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is cardiovascular diseases. Recent guidelines recommend assessment of cardiovascular risk, however the management of cardiovascular risk is not clear.
Objectives The aims of the study were to find effect of cardiac rehabilitation on disease activity, functional status, fitness and cardiovascular risk score in patients with moderate disease activity.
Methods Forty seven patients with RA who had filled ACR/EULAR 2010 classification criteria were enrolled to the study. The patients were randomized to cardiac rehabilitation (25 patients) and home based exercise program (22 patients) groups. The intervention in cardiac rehabilitation group included warming, bicycle ergometer, upper and lower extremity stregthening, cooling and stretching exercises. The patients had received cardiac rehabilitation three times a week for 10 weeks. Individualized home exercise program was given to cardiac rehabilitation group after 10th week. The patients in home exercise program were encouraged to do aerobic and strengthening exercises. The patients were evaluated at baseline, 10th and 24th week with exercise tolerance test, 6 minute walking test, DAS28 score, analysis of mSCORE risk profile, HAQ (Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire), SF36 (Short Form-36) and Beck Depression Scale.
Results There were significant improvement in the VO2 max, MET level, DAS28, HAQ, SF36- pain, Beck Depression Scale parameters in cardiac rehabilitation group when compared to home exercise group. There was no effect on mSCORE risk profile.
Conclusions Cardiac rehabilitation improved physical fitness, functional outcomes and decreased disease activity but did not affect mSCORE risk profile. mSCORE risk analysis was seemed to be useful to evaluate cardiovascular risk for 10 years but not for appropriate tool for follow up of cardiac risk.
Disclosure of Interest None declared