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02-07-2018 | Rheumatoid arthritis | Article

The best cardiovascular risk calculator to predict carotid plaques in rheumatoid arthritis patients

Clinical Rheumatology

Authors: Martin I. Wah-Suarez, Dionicio A. Galarza-Delgado, Jose R. Azpiri-Lopez, Iris J. Colunga-Pedraza, Jesus Alberto Cardenas-de la Garza, Raymundo Vera-Pineda, Rosa I. Arvizu-Rivera, Adrian Martinez-Moreno, Ray E. Ramos-Cazares, Elizabeth E. Abundis-Marquez, Andres H. Guillen-Lozoya, Jose A. Davila-Jimenez, Cinthia Y. Guillen-Gutierrez, Guillermo Elizondo-Riojas

Publisher: Springer London


Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is the leading cause of death in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Chronic inflammation and traditional risk factors increase cardiovascular risk (CVR) in these patients. Several CVR calculators are used in general population and in RA patients to predict cardiovascular outcomes and tailor therapy but the precision of these calculators in RA patients has yet to be determined. The aim of this study is to determine which risk calculator correlates best with carotid ultrasound (US) findings, specifically carotid plaque (CP) and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) in RA patients without clinical manifestations. This was a cross-sectional observational study relating CVR scores in RA patients with the presence of carotid US findings. A total of 97 patients 40 to 75 years old who fulfilled the 2010 ACR/EULAR and/or the 1987 ACR classification criteria for RA were selected. Clinical assessment of cardiovascular risk was performed using seven calculators and carotid US measurement of intima-media thickness and plaque. The tests with the highest sensitivity for CIMT were the Framingham BMI, Framingham lipids, ACC/AHA 2013, and QRISK2. In CP, the highest sensitivity was in QRISK2, SCORE, and ACC/AHA 2013. RA patients should be comprehensively evaluated to detect cardiovascular risk. Carotid US may be routinely recommended to detect subclinical atherosclerosis in RA patients. A lower cutoff point in CVR scales may be necessary to identify patients with a low and intermediate CVR to detect subclinical atherosclerosis earlier and personalize therapy.

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