Table 1

Baseline characteristics of the incident rheumatoid arthritis cohort

CharacteristicsAll cases (n=7051)Exposed (n=2844)Unexposed (N=4207)p Value*
Gender
 Women4683 (66)1981 (70)2702 (64)<0.001
 Men2368 (34)863 (30)1505 (36)<0.001
Mean age (SD)56 (18)57 (17)54 (18)<0.001
CV drugs use1343 (19)612 (22)731 (17)<0.001
Antihypertensive drugs1212 (17)553 (19)611 (15), 659 (16)<0.001
 ACE inhibitors620 (9)288 (10)332 (8)0.001
 β Blockers543 (8)252 (9)291 (7)0.002
 α Blockers74 (1)37 (1)37 (1)NS
 Calcium channel blockers194 (3)94 (3)100 (2)0.01
 ARB67 (1)28 (1)39 (1)NS
Other CV drugs1111 (16)515 (18)596 (14)<0.001
 Cardiac glycosides152 (2)58 (2)94 (2)NS
 Diuretics861 (12)406 (14)455 (11)<0.001
 Antiarrhythmic agents33 (0.5)16 (0.6)17 (0.4)NS
 Anticoagulants108 (2)42 (1)66 (2)NS
 Nitrates241 (3)107 (4)134 (3)NS
Diabetes drugs268 (4)110 (4)158 (4)NS
HRT728 (10)323 (11)405 (10)0.02
Oral contraceptives186 (3)79 (3)107 (3)NS
Lipid-lowering-drugs
 Fibrates43 (0.6)16 (0.6)27 (0.6)NS
 Statins366 (5)179 (6)187 (4)<0.001
NSAIDs during follow-up
 No NSAIDs1308 (19)355 (12)953 (23)<0.001
 Traditional NSAIDs2834 (40)1089 (38)1745 (41)<0.001
 COX-22909 (41)1400 (49)1509 (36)<0.001
DMARD use
 No DMARDs4357 (62)1039 (37)3318 (79)<0.001
 Non-MTX DMARDs1075 (15)588 (21)487 (12)<0.001
 MTX1619 (23)1217 (43)402 (10)<0.001
 Biological agents229 (3)206 (7)23 (0.5)<0.001
Seen by a rheumatologist2906 (41)1563 (55)1343 (32)
Charlson index, mean (SD)1.0 (2)1.1 (2)0.9 (1)NS
Angina1434 (20)639 (22)795 (19)<0.001
COPD2014 (29)896 (32)1118 (27)<0.001
  • Unless otherwise indicated, values represent number (%).

  • * Comparing exposed to glucocorticoids with never exposed to glucocorticoids.

  • From 1990 to rheumatoid arthritis onset.

  • Traditional DMARDs, excluding methotrexate (MTX).

  • ACE, angiotensin converting enzyme; ARB, angiotensin receptor blocker; COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; CV, cardiovascular; DMARDs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs; HRT, hormone replacement therapy; MTX, methotrexate; NS, not significant; NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.