Recognition and control of hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis


Absolute cardiovascular risk of an individual with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is greater when compared to the general population, and several factors have proven to be important for the development of coronary artery disease (CAD) in these patients, including factors related to the underlying disease, such as the systemic inflammatory response, drugs used in its treatment, and a higher prevalence of traditional risk factors for CAD. Our aim is to describe the recognition and control frequencies of systemic arterial hypertension (SAH), dyslipidemia, and diabetes mellitus (DM) in RA patients. Patients with RA answered a questionnaire focused on their general knowledge of the risk factors for CAD, as well as on the recognition of the risk factors that they possess. The patient’s information, collected from a structured medical record, was reviewed to evaluate the control of risk factors. Hundred and thirty-four patients were included in the study. One patient was excluded due to the impossibility of reviewing her medical records. Therefore, 133 patients remained in the study. Patients had a mean (SD) age of 57.3 (12.9) years. SAH was diagnosed in 88 subjects, with a recognition frequency of 89.8%, and 63.3% had desirable blood pressure control. Seventy-two patients were diagnosed with dyslipidemia; 68.1% recognized that they had dyslipidemia and 69.4% achieved desirable LDL-c control. Twenty-two patients had DM; 90.9% admitted being diabetic and 40.9% had desirable glycemic control. The frequencies of the CAD risk factor recognition and control were high in comparison to those described for the general population.

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This study was financially supported by Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES). Dr. Ribeiro was supported in part by CNPq (Bolsa de produtividade em pesquisa, 310679/2016-8) and by FAPEMIG (Programa Pesquisador Mineiro, PPM-00428-17).

Author information




LLC: data collection, manuscript writing, and statistical analysis. RWT: manuscript revision, and statistical analysis. CCDL: manuscript revision and statistical analysis. MPR: data collection. ALPR: manuscript revision and statistical analysis.

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Correspondence to Luísa Lima Castro.

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Castro, L.L., Lanna, C.C.D., Rocha, M.P. et al. Recognition and control of hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatol Int 38, 1437–1442 (2018).

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  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Risk factors for coronary artery disease
  • Cardiovascular risk factors