Background Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have an increased mortality and morbidity due to cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Objectives In this prospective follow up over eleven years, we investigated the progression of atherosclerosis measured by intima media thickness (IMT), in relation to traditional CVD risk factors and inflammation, in patients with early RA compared to controls.
Methods Patients from northern Sweden diagnosed with early RA are consecutively recruited into an ongoing prospective study. A subgroup aged ≤60 years (n=54) was consecutively included for ultrasound measurements of IMT of a. Carotis communis at inclusion (T0), and after 11 years (T11). 31 age-sex-matched controls were included. The patients were clinically assessed, SCORE, Reynolds Risk Score and Larsen score were calculated and blood samples drawn from all individuals at T0 and T11. Data and results presented in this abstract are preliminary.
Results Patients with RA as well as controls had a significant aggravation in IMT over 11 years (0.52 at T0 and 0.68 at T11 in RA: p<0.001; 0.54 at T0 and 0.63 at T11 in controls: p<0.05; IMT in RA vs controls at T0 and at T11: p>0.05). The patients with RA had a significantly higher progression in IMT from T0 until T11 (0.16 vs 0.08, p<0.001). In simple linear regression analyses among RA-patients, the IMT at T11 was significantly associated with several variables at T0: age, systolic blood pressure, SCORE, Reynolds Risk Score, tPA, L-selectin (inversely), MCP-1 and Larsen score. The progression in IMT over 11 years was associated with age and Larsen score at T0.
Conclusions In this prospective study, the progression of sub-clinical atherosclerosis over 11 years was significantly higher in patients with RA than in controls. The IMT at T11 was associated with several traditional cardiovascular risk factors, as well as disease severity, at time of diagnosis.
Disclosure of Interest None declared