Background Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is associated to subclinical atherosclerosis. Traditional risk factors for cardiovascular outcomes do not explain completely the higher risk, which could be caused by chronic systemic inflammation.
Objectives The aim of this study is to relate abnormal carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) to the presence of cardiovascular risk factors.
Methods Observational cross-section design. We included patients who fulfilled the 1987 ACR and/or 2010 ACR/EULAR classification criteria for RA, 40 to 75 years old, with no personal history of atherosclerotic CV disease. A board-certified radiologist performed carotid duplex ultrasounds. Patients were distributed in two groups according to the absence (Group 1) or presence (Group 2) of traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease (smoking status, dyslipidemia, high blood pressure and diabetes).
Results A total of 82 patients were included. Demographic characteristics for each group are shown in Table 1. Ultrasound findings are shown in Table 2. CIMT alterations were more common in Group 2 (66.7%) than in Group 1 (38.7%), with statistical significance (p=0.013). Presence of carotid plaque was more common in Group 2 (27.5%) than in Group 1 (16.1%), shown clinical relevance, although did not shown statistical significance (p=0.18).
Conclusions In this cohort of Mexican patients with RA, we demonstrate relation between the presence of alterations in CIMT (carotid hypertrophy and carotid plaque) and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which can be enhanced by intrinsic risk of RA. These findings reaffirm the importance of global health assessment in patients with RA to reduce morbidity.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared