Objective To determine whether rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality in End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Methods Cohort study of adult patients with ESRD in the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) with RA and a 5% random sample of those without RA. CVD events, all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality were determined in those with RA compared to those without RA using Cox Proportional Hazards modeling. Results 2,824 subjects, 407 with RA and 2,417 without RA, were included in the analyses. The duration of the study was up to 5 years, depending on mortality and initiation of dialysis. There were no significant differences in CVD events by RA status (n = 311 [76.4% RA] vs. n = 1936 [80.1% without RA], p = 0.09). Subjects with RA had a significantly shorter mean time in months from start of dialysis to an incident CVD event (20.1 ± 12.2 vs. 21.2 ± 14.1, p < 0.01) than those without RA. In multivariable adjusted models, RA was not associated with an increased risk for all-cause mortality (aHR = 1.09, 95%CI 0.94-1.27) or cardiovascular mortality (aHR = 0.95, 95% CI 0.74-1.22) within 5 years. Risk factors for all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality in RA included older age and a higher Charlson comorbidity index (CCI). Conclusions Clinicians should be aware that persons with RA who develop ESRD incur cardiac events sooner than the general population. However, RA is not an independent risk factor for all-cause or cardiovascular mortality in ESRD.
- cardiovascular mortality
- end stage renal disease
- rheumatoid arthritis
- united states renal data system
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