RA Patients Have Increased Risk of Venous Thromboembolism

Rheumatoid arthritis patients have an increased risk of venous thromboembolism, Mayo Clinic researchers have found.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients have an increased risk of venous thromboembolism, Mayo Clinic researchers have found.

Between 1980 and 2007, the researchers recruited a population-based inception cohort of 813 adult patients with incident RA (556 women and 257 men) in Olmsted County, Minnesota, as well as a control cohort of non-RA participants from the same population base. All participants were followed until December 31, 2008. The researchers recorded venous thromboembolic, cerebrovascular, and peripheral arterial events through review of the participants’ medical records.

Compared with those from the control cohort in the same age and sex category, those diagnosed with RA between 1995 and 2007 had “higher incidence … of venous thromboembolism (cumulative incidence ± SE 6.7 ± 1.7 versus 2.8 ± 1.1, respectively; P = 0.005),” the researchers write in the study abstract. The two groups, however, had similar rates of cerebrovascular and peripheral arterial events.

The occurrence of venous thromboembolic, cerebrovascular, and peripheral arterial events in the RA patients was also similar in the 1995—2007 period when compared to the 1980–1994 period.

“Among patients with RA diagnosed in this time period [1995 through 2007], there were 37 patients with at least one noncardiac vascular disease event (15 with venous thromboembolic events, 11 with cerebrovascular events, 6 with peripheral arterial events, one with venous thromboembolic and cerebrovascular events, three with venous thromboembolic and peripheral arterial events, and one with cerebrovascular and peripheral arterial events) after the RA incidence date,” the authors write.

The study appears in the January edition of Arthritis & Rheumatism.