Published: 2019-05-24

Factors affecting carotid intimal medial thickness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, an analytical cross-sectional study

K. M. Prabhuswamy, M. Virgin Joena


Background: IMT assessment as a non-invasive imaging test is quite widely used especially among RA patients, the clinical applications of using such knowledge is scarce, hence study was conducted to compare the carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with healthy controls also to study the correlation between duration of rheumatoid arthritis, the activity of rheumatoid arthritis and other factors influencing (CIMT).

Methods: In analytical cross-sectional study, of 80 participants of RA and 40 healthy controls, “DAS28” was used to assess disease activity.  Carotid intima-media thickness assessed using carotid ultrasonography.

Results: Mean age of the cases and controls was 43.9 and 44.38 years. Subjects with duration of disease <2 years, to 5 years and >5 years were 35%, 45% and 20%. The mean carotid intima-media thickness was 5.61mm in controls, and CIMT was 6.11mm in people below 2 years and 7.08 mm in people between 2 to 5 years and 8.00mm in people above 5 years which was statistically significant. The mean carotid intima-media thickness was 5.61mm controls and 6.86mm in people with low, 7.00mm in people with moderate and 6.95mm in people with high disease activity, which was statistically significant.

Conclusions: Study findings revealed risk of increase in carotid intima-media thickness higher among RA patients in the later stages and can increase the patients’ susceptibility to cardiovascular events. The factors showing strong association with intimal medial thickness were the age and symptoms duration.



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