Rheumatoid Arthritis-Related Diseases Have Similar Survival Rates

Rheumatoid arthritis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension and idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension have similar survival rates, according to research published in Respirology.

Rheumatoid arthritis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (RA PAH) patients have an older age of onset and lower baseline mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP) compared to idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) patients, according to research published in Respirology.

Researchers from hospitals in the Toronto, Canada area evaluated whether RA PAH is a more severe disease compared to IPAH by assessing the time to all cause morality in order to evaluate the differences in disease severity and treatment. The patients were recruited from a cohort study of RA PAH and IPAH patients at the University Health Network Pulmonary Hypertension Program in Toronto. The 1,385 patients screened identified 18 RA PAH and 155 IPAH patients.

The researchers found that RA PAH patients had an older median age of onset compared to the IPAH patients — 64.0 years versus 53.7 years, respectively. Additionally, lower mPAP was found in RA PAH patients compared to IPAH patients at a rate of 41 versus 50 mm Hg.

RA PAH patients tended to have a high proportion of females compared to IPAH patients, 83 percent versus 70 percent, respectively. RA PAH patients were also found to have lower median baseline brain natriuretic peptic (58.4 versus 95.0 pg/ mL) and longer baseline 6 minute walk distance (440 compared to 397 m) compared to the IPAH patient group.

Overall, there were 35 deaths found in the analysis: 2 out of 18 of the RA PAH patients, 11 percent; and 33 out of 155 IPAH patients, 21 percent.

The unadjusted 1 year survival rate was relatively similar: 93 percent in the RA PAH group and 94 percent for IPAH. However, even though they are similar, understanding the individualized characteristics of both RA PAH and IPAH may better help direct treatments, assist the prediction of the diseases, and their progression, one article commented.

“Compared with IPAH patients, RA PAH patients have an older age of onset and lower baseline mPAP,” the authors concluded. “RA PAH patients have comparable survival to IPAH patients.”