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Ir Med J. 2017 May 10;110(5):562.

Comparing cardiovascular risk factors, disease and treatment in participants with rheumatoid arthritis and without arthritis in a population based stud.

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Dept. of Orthopaedics, University Hospital Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.
Dept. of Clinical Therapies, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.
Dept. of Rheumatology, University Hospital Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.
Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is associated with a significant increase in mortality compared to the general population, with cardiovascular disease (CVD) the leading cause of death. The aim of this study is to compare the prevalence and treatment of modifiable CV risk factors and history of CVD in those with RA and those without arthritis in Ireland. Data from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), a population-representative cohort study of people in Ireland aged 50 or over, was used. Participants with RA (n=457) were twice as likely to be obese (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.99 to 2.06) compared to those without arthritis (n=4,063). Participants with RA were also more likely to be physically inactive (OR 1.73, 95% CI 1.69 to 1.76) and taking antihypertensive medication than those without arthritis. Exercise can have a beneficial impact on CVD and specific interventions to increase physical activity in those with RA may be warranted.


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