Rheumatoid arthritis patients at increased risk of Thromboembolism: Study
Canada: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients are at increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), and venous thromboembolism (VTE), finds a recent study in the journal Rheumatology.
J Antonio Aviña-Zubieta, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues aimed to estimate the overall risk of PE, VTE, and DVT in patients with newly diagnosed RA compared with the general population without RA. Also, they estimated the risk trends of VTE, PE and DVT after RA diagnosis up to 5 years compared with the general population.
For the purpose, the researchers conducted a matched cohort study using the population-based administrative health database from the province of British Columbia, Canada. They calculated incidence rates (IRs) and fully adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for the risk of VTE, DVT and PE after RA index date.
Key findings of the study include:
- Among 39 142 incident RA patients (66% female, mean age 60), 1432, 543 and 1068 developed VTE, PE and DVT, respectively.
- IRs for the RA cohort were 3.79, 1.43 and 2.82 per 1000 person-years vs 2.70, 1.03 and 1.94 per 1000 person-years for the non-RA cohort.
- After adjusting for VTE risk factors, the HRs were 1.28, 1.25 and 1.30 for VTE, PE and DVT, respectively.
- The fully adjusted HRs for VTE during the first five years after RA diagnosis were 1.60, 1.47, 1.40, 1.30 and 1.28, respectively.
- A similar trend was shown in PE.
"This population-based study demonstrates that RA patients have an increased risk of VTE, PE and DVT after diagnosis compared with the general population," wrote the authors.
Further, the risk was found to be independent of traditional VTE risk factors and is highest during the first year after RA diagnosis, then progressively declined.
The study titled, "The risk and trend of pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis in rheumatoid arthritis: a general population-based study," is published in the journal Rheumatology.