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Beijing Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2012 Apr 18;44(2):176-81.

[A multicenter study of coronary artery disease and its risk factors in rheumatoid arthritis in China].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Peking University People's Hospital, Beijing 100044, China.



To learn about the prevalence and risk factors of coronary artery disease (CAD) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Data were obtained from a 12-month retrospective investigation of the patients with RA, randomly selected from Departments of Rheumatology and Immunology in 21 big hospitals in China. The data were collected about their social conditions, clinical conditions, medications associated with RA, such as disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), glucocorticoid, biologic agents. A nonparameter test and multivariate logistic regression analysis were performed.


In the study, 960 patients were enrolled. The prevalence of CAD was 3.5% in China, which was obviously higher than that of normal people. The prevalence of overweight and obesity, smoking, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia and cerebrovascular disease were 35.1%, 12.3%, 17.0%, 7.7%, 0.4% and 3.0%, respectively. Compared with the control group, the CAD group had higher age [(64.7±9.3) years vs. (52.3±14.0) years,P<0.001], more rheumatoid nodules (14.7% vs. 3.1%,P=0.005), lower rate of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) use (5.9% vs. 22.6%,P=0.021), higher prevalence rates of lung interstitial disease (17.5% vs. 7.0%,P<0.001), diabetes mellitus and hypertension (29.4% vs. 7.0%,P<0.001; 38.2% vs. 16.2%,P=0.001). There was no obvious correlation of CAD in RA with joint deformity, rheumatoid factor (RF) titer, glucocorticoid use, hypercholesterolemia and body mass index (BMI). Multivariate analysis showed higher age, diabetes mellitus and hypertension were independent predictors of CAD, and the use of HCQ was a protective factor of CAD.


The prevalence of CAD is 3.5%. Higher age, diabetes mellitus and hypertension are independent predictors of CAD, and the use of HCQ is a protective factor of CAD.

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