Through this analysis, we aimed to systematically compare the cardiovascular outcomes observed in patients with co-existing coronary artery disease (CAD) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Mendeley, Web of Science (WOS), MEDLINE, Cochrane central, EMBASE, Google scholar, and http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov were searched for English-based publications on CAD and RA. Selective cardiovascular outcomes were the endpoints in this analysis. The statistical software RevMan 5.3 was used for data assessment. Risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to represent each subgroup analysis.
One thousand four hundred forty six (1446) participants had co-existing CAD and RA whereas 205,575 participants were in the control group (only CAD without RA). This current analysis showed that the risk of asymptomatic or stable angina was similar in CAD patients with versus without RA (RR: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.84 – 1.14; P = .78). However, all-cause mortality (RR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.34 – 1.61; P = 0.00001), cardiac death (RR: 1.51, 95% CI: 1.05 – 2.17; P = .03) and congestive heart failure (RR: 1.41, 95% CI: 1.27 – 1.56; P = .00001) were significantly higher in CAD patients with RA. However, multi-vessel disease (RR: 2.03, 95% CI: 0.57 – 7.26; P = .28), positive stress test (RR: 1.69, 95% CI: 0.70 – 4.08; P = .24), and ischemic events (RR: 1.18, 95% CI: 0.81 – 1.71; P = .40) were similar in both groups. The risk for myocardial infarction, repeated revascularization, and the probability of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) (RR: 1.20, 95% CI: 0.75 – 1.93; P = .45) were also similar in CAD patients with versus without RA. When we considered outcomes only in those patients who underwent revascularization by PCI, all-cause mortality (RR: 1.43, 95% CI: 1.29 – 1.60; P = .00001) was still significantly higher in CAD patients with RA.
This analysis showed a significantly higher mortality risk in CAD patients with RA when compared to the control group. Congestive heart failure also significantly manifested more in CAD patients with co-existing RA. However, the risks all the other cardiovascular outcomes were similar in both groups. Nevertheless, due to the several limitations of this analysis, this hypothesis should be confirmed in forthcoming trials based on larger numbers of CAD patients with co-existing RA.