Disease Activity, Oxidized-LDL Fraction and Anti-Oxidized LDL Antibodies Influence Cardiovascular Risk in Rheumatoid Arthritis.Adv Clin Exp Med. 2016 Jan-Feb; 25(1):43-50.AC
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have a shortened lifespan compared to the general population. The high rate of premature mortality in the RA population can be attributed to cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The aim of the study was to look for non-classic risk factors that can at least partially explain the enhanced cardiovascular (CV) risk in patients with RA.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
This was an observational study with 37 RA patients and 24 healthy volunteers as controls. The participants' medical history was taken, and systematic coronary risk evaluation (SCORE) and carotid ultrasonography examinations were performed on all the participants. Laboratory tests included antibodies anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP), inflammatory markers, lipid level, oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) level and the level of anti-oxLDL antibodies.
Both SCORE and oxLDL fraction were elevated in RA patients as compared to the healthy controls (3.1 ± 3.7 vs. 0.8 ± 1.2, p = 0.005; and 0.029 ± 0.033% vs. 0.014 ± 0.006%, p = 0.04, respectively). In the RA group, the presence of anti-CCP was associated with thickening of the carotid intima-media complex and SCORE elevation. In the RA group, significant correlations were found between SCORE and mean carotid intima-media thickness (IMT; RP = 0.34, p = 0.040), disease activity score (RP = 0.42, p = 0.011), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR; RP = 0.35, p = 0.036), and disease duration (RP = 0.52, p = 0.002). In RA patients with carotid plaques, the oxLDL fraction was significantly elevated in comparison to those without plaques (0.055 ± 0.070% vs. 0.022 ± 0.018%, p = 0.033). In the RA group, there was a significant negative correlation between mean carotid IMT and the serum concentration of anti-oxLDL antibodies (RP = -0.38, p = 0.02). No association was noted between the presence of rheumatoid nodules and SCORE or carotid IMT.
Among RA patients, disease activity, ESR, disease duration, the presence of anti-CCP antibodies, the oxLDL fraction and the level of anti-oxLDL antibodies influence CV risk.