2 types of arthritis increase heart disease risk

28 April 2016

middle aged couple on beach

28 April 2016

Clare Pain

Osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis are each associated with a raised risk of heart and blood vessel disease, according to two meta-analyses (studies that combine data from many other studies).

While it is widely known that rheumatoid arthritis increases risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), little is known about other forms of arthritis.

Now a meta-analysis shows that psoriatic arthritis increases the risk of CVD by 43% compared with the general population, a result which is on a par with the CVD risk experienced by people with severe psoriasis, say the authors.

Including 11 studies comparing nearly 33,000 patients with psoriatic arthritis with controls (people who did not have the disease), the meta-analysis showed the predominant effect was a 68% increase in the risk of heart attack, followed by a 31% increase in risk of heart failure and a 22% increase in cerebrovascular disease, such as stroke.

The findings “support the notion that psoriatic arthritis should be considered an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases”, conclude the authors.

Meanwhile the first study to look for a relationship between osteoarthritis (OA) and cardiovascular disease has found an increased risk of death.

The meta-analysis of 7 studies, covering more than 10,000 people with OA and 18,500 people without, shows no connection between OA and death from all causes.

However, the results do suggest OA is associated with a 21% increase in death from cardiovascular disease, the authors say.

Factors underlying the association could be low levels of physical activity and also exposure to analgesics (pain-killers), they suggest.

Last Reviewed: 28 April 2016
Reproduced with kind permission from Medical Observer Weekly.

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