Incidence and Prevalence of Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and Axial Spondyloarthritis

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2018 Dec;70(12):1756-1763. doi: 10.1002/acr.23567.


Objective: To compare the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) in a large observational cohort of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), or axial spondyloarthritis (SpA) patients.

Methods: We conducted a mixed retrospective and prospective cohort study using data from patients with RA, PsA, or axial SpA included in the Swiss Clinical Quality Management registry. The primary outcome of interest was a composite of myocardial infarction, transient or permanent cerebrovascular event, or cardiovascular-associated death.

Results: A total of 5,315 patients were eligible for the analysis of incidence, with a total follow-up time of 37,495 patient-years for RA, 19,837 patient-years for axial SpA, and 9,171 patient-years for PsA. The unadjusted incidence rate of MACE per 1,000 patient-years was 2.67 for RA, 1.41 for axial SpA, and 1.42 for PsA. Compared to the unadjusted incidence rate ratios (IRRs) in patients with RA, those in patients with axial SpA were 0.53 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.34-0.80; P = 0.003) and in patients with PsA were 0.53 (95% CI 0.30-0.95; P = 0.03). After adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, age at disease onset, sex, and disease duration, the difference was not significant between RA and axial SpA (adjusted IRR 0.93 [95% CI 0.51-1.69]; P = 0.80) or between RA and PsA (adjusted IRR 0.56 [95% CI 0.27-1.14]; P = 0.11). We found a similar result with the analysis of prevalence.

Conclusion: There was no significant difference in the incidence and prevalence of MACE between RA and axial SpA or PsA, suggesting that inflammation, rather than a particular disease, drives the increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / epidemiology*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / mortality
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spondylarthritis / diagnosis
  • Spondylarthritis / epidemiology*
  • Spondylarthritis / mortality
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult