Objectives: To study the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors among patients attending a rheumatology outpatient clinic in comparison with the general population.
Methods: Cross-sectional comparison between a rheumatic outpatient cohort of consecutive patients (n = 1233) between 36 and 75 years of age attending the Arthritis Center Twente (ACT) in the year 2009: RA (n = 546), gout (n = 129), OA (n = 168), CTD (n = 85), PMR (n = 91) and chronic localized or generalized pain syndromes (CPSs; n = 214) and a random sample from a long-lasting population-based health study in the Netherlands (n = 4523). The main outcome measures were hypertension (systolic blood pressure ≥ 140 mmHg and/or a diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mmHg and/or the use of antihypertensive medication), abnormal cholesterol profile (total cholesterol ≥ 6.5 mmol/l, and/or high-density lipoprotein < 0.9 mmol/l and/or use of lipid lowering medication), overweight (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2), obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) and cigarette smoking habits (self-reported current smoking).
Results: Compared with the general population, patients with rheumatic diseases have a significantly higher prevalence of hypertension (PACT = 68%, Pgeneral = 57%), being overweight (PACT = 72%, Pgeneral = 62%), obesity (PACT = 30%, Pgeneral = 17%) and cigarette smoking (PACT = 26%, Pgeneral = 21%). The worst risk profile was found in gout patients, with higher prevalence of all cardiovascular risk factors studied.
Conclusion: Lifestyle-associated potentially modifiable cardiovascular risk factors are over-represented along the whole spectrum of chronic rheumatic diseases, and not only in RA, as suggested by preceding studies.
- Cardiovascular risk
- Pain syndromes