ACR: Arthritis Increases Post-MI Complications

Rheumatoid arthritis patients have increased risk of death following myocardial infarction

TUESDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) suffer more complications following myocardial infarction, including an increased risk of dying, than other myocardial infarction patients, according to research presented at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting, held Oct. 24-29 in San Francisco.

Hilal Maradit Kremers, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues performed a population-based study to examine differences in treatments and outcomes in RA patients and non-RA patients who had myocardial infarctions. Rates of death and heart failure were compared.

Overall, there were 38 RA patients with myocardial infarction, with nine having had heart failure prior to the myocardial infarction and 18 developing heart failure following it. Heart failure risk following myocardial infarction was 45 percent higher in RA patients than in the general population, but that figure was not statistically significant. The risk of death was increased by 75 percent in myocardial infarction patients with RA compared with patients in the general population and was even greater among RA patients with a positive blood test for rheumatoid factor. No significant differences in acute re-perfusion therapy or discharge medications were noted.

"Following a MI (myocardial infarction), RA patients suffer higher mortality and increased risk of HF (heart failure), compared to MI patients in the general population," the authors conclude. "Reasons for these differences are unknown and emphasize the need to optimize preventive, diagnostic and treatment strategies for MI in RA patients."

Kremers disclosed financial ties to Amgen and Pfizer.


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