Risk of venous thromboembolism in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Clin Rheumatol. 2014 Mar;33(3):297-304. doi: 10.1007/s10067-014-2492-7. Epub 2014 Jan 15.


We performed this meta-analysis to assess venous thromboembolism risk in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. A comprehensive search was performed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane databases. Nine observational studies met our inclusion criteria and were included in the data analysis. The pooled risk ratios of deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and venous thromboembolism in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared with non-RA participants were 2.08 (95% CI 1.75-2.47), 2.17 (95% CI 2.05-2.31), and 1.96 (95% CI 1.81-2.11), respectively. Subgroup analysis demonstrated a consistent increased risk in every study design (cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional). Our results indicate a significant increased risk of venous thromboembolism among patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Humans
  • Risk
  • Venous Thromboembolism / etiology*