The association of hypertension with asymptomatic cardiovascular organ damage in rheumatoid arthritis

Abstract

© 2016 Informa UK Ltd, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Background: The association of hypertension with asymptomatic cardiovascular organ damage in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been little studied by echocardiography. Methods: Echocardiography was done in 134 RA patients and 102 healthy controls. Left ventricular (LV) geometry was considered abnormal if LV mass index or relative wall thickness was increased. LV diastolic dysfunction was considered present if septal early diastolic tissue velocity textless8 cm/s. Systemic arterial compliance (SAC) was assessed from stroke volume index/pulse pressure ratio. Results: The hypertensive RA patients (n = 72) had higher inflammatory activity, older age and more diabetes than the normotensive RA patients (n = 62) (all p textless 0.05). Rates of abnormal LV geometry, LV diastolic dysfunction and lower SAC were higher among the hypertensive RA patients (p textless 0.05), but similar between normotensive RA patients and controls. Hypertension was associated with a 3-fold higher prevalence both for abnormal LV geometry (odds ratio 2.89 [95% confidence interval 1.09–7.63], p = 0.03) and for diastolic LV dysfunction (odds ratio 2.92 [95% confidence interval 1.14–7.46], p = 0.03) as well as lower SAC ($β$ = 0.31, p = 0.001) independent of age, gender, diabetes and inflammatory activity measured by erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Conclusion: The presence of asymptomatic cardiovascular organ damage in RA patients is closely associated with hypertension independent of inflammatory activity.

Publication
Blood Pressure

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