Relative contribution of cardiovascular risk factors and rheumatoid arthritis clinical manifestations to atherosclerosis
Article first published online: 27 OCT 2005
Copyright © 2005 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis & Rheumatism
Volume 52, Issue 11, pages 3413–3423, November 2005
How to Cite
del Rincón, I., Freeman, G. L., Haas, R. W., O'Leary, D. H. and Escalante, A. (2005), Relative contribution of cardiovascular risk factors and rheumatoid arthritis clinical manifestations to atherosclerosis. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 52: 3413–3423. doi: 10.1002/art.21397
- Issue published online: 27 OCT 2005
- Article first published online: 27 OCT 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 AUG 2005
- Manuscript Received: 10 MAR 2005
- Arthritis Investigator award and a Clinical Science grant from the Arthritis Foundation
- Frederic C. Barter General Clinical Research Center. Grant Numbers: R01-HD-37151, K23-HL-04481, K24-AR-47530, M01-RR-01346
To estimate the contribution of cardiovascular (CV) risk factors and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease manifestations to atherosclerosis in RA.
We used high-resolution carotid ultrasound to measure the carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and plaque in 631 RA patients. Using R2 measures from multivariable models, we estimated the contribution of demographic characteristics (age, sex, and ethnic group), CV risk factors (diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, cigarette smoking, hypertension, and body mass index, and RA manifestations (joint tenderness, swelling, and deformity, nodules, erythrocyte sedimentation rate [ESR], C-reactive protein, rheumatoid factor, the HLA–DRB1 shared epitope, and cumulative glucocorticoid dose) to each of the outcomes. Estimates were obtained in the full sample, and within strata defined by age, sex, and ethnic group. We tested for interaction between CV risk factors and RA manifestations.
The contribution of demographic factors, CV risk factors, and RA manifestations to IMT and plaque R2 varied depending on the patients' age stratum. Demographic features explained 11–16% of IMT variance, CV risk factors explained 4%–12%, and RA manifestations explained 1–6%. The greatest contribution of RA manifestations occurred in the youngest age group, while that of CV risk factors occurred in the older age groups. Results for carotid plaque were similar. There was a significant interaction between the number of CV risk factors present and the ESR, suggesting that the ESR's effect on IMT varied according to the number of CV risk factors.
Both established CV risk factors and manifestations of RA inflammation contribute significantly to carotid atherosclerosis in RA, and may modify one another's effects. These findings may have implications regarding the prevention of atherosclerosis in RA.