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Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2017 Aug 10;5(5):641-644. doi: 10.3889/oamjms.2017.146. eCollection 2017 Aug 15.

Prevalence of Asymptomatic Arterial Hypertension and Its Correlation with Inflammatory Activity in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis.

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Clinic of Rheumatology, University Clinical Center of Kosovo, Prishtina, Kosovo.
Emergency Center, University Clinical Center of Kosovo, Prishtina, Kosovo.
Clinic of Endocrinology, University Clinical Center of Kosovo, Prishtina, Kosovo.
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Prishtina, Kosovo.



Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease that worsens during the course of the disease and can cause disability. Early RA refers to the onset of symptoms within the past 3 months. In RA, increased levels of mediators of inflammation may cause arterial stiffness consequently leading to arterial hypertension.


The aim of this cross-sectional study was to assess the prevalence of asymptomatic arterial hypertension in early RA patients as well as the correlation with parameters of inflammation.


One hundred and seventy-nine early RA patients diagnosed in agreement with ACR/EULAR (American College of Rheumatology/ European League against Rheumatism) 2010 criteria were consecutively included in the study. CRP (C-reactive protein) and anti CCP (Antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides) serum levels, WBC (white blood cells) count and ESR (Erythrocyte sedimentation rate), likewise DAS-28 (28-joint disease activity score) were determined in all included patients. Parametric tests were used to compare the characteristics of the groups and to test the correlation of the variables.


Statistical data analysis revealed that a majority of the patients were females (n = 141; 78.7%); the mean age at RA onset was 49.13 ± 12.13 years. Overall prevalence of hypertension was 44.13 % (n = 79). In comparison with the normotensive patients, the hypertensive patients were older and had significantly higher values of CRP, ESR, anti-CCP and DAS-28. A highly significant positive correlation between all the study parameters and systolic and diastolic blood pressure was observed.


Presence of significantly higher values of CRP, ESR, anti-CCP and DAS-28 in hypertensive patients indicate that inflammation is associated with an increased risk of hypertension. In this context, early screening for arterial hypertension and adequate therapeutic measures should be considered in early RA patients.


Anti CCP; CRP; DAS-28; ESR; Early Rheumatoid Arthritis; Hypertension

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