Increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome associated with rheumatoid arthritis in patients without clinical cardiovascular disease

Cynthia S. Crowson, Elena Myasoedova, John M. Davis, Eric L. Matteson, Veronique L. Roger, Terry M. Therneau, Patrick Fitz-Gibbon, Richard J. Rodeheffer, Sherine E. Gabriel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine whether patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with no overt cardiovascular disease (CVD) have a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) than subjects without RA or CVD. We also examined whether RA disease characteristics are associated with the presence of MetS in RA patients without CVD. Methods: Subjects from a population-based cohort of patients who fulfilled 1987 American College of Rheumatology criteria for RA between January 1, 1980, and December 31, 2007, were compared to non-RA subjects from the same population. All subjects with any history of CVD were excluded. Waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure were measured during the study visit. Data on CVD, lipids, and glucose measures were ascertained from medical records. MetS was defined using NCEP/ATP III criteria. Differences between the 2 cohorts were examined using logistic regression models adjusted for age and sex. Results: The study included 232 RA subjects without CVD and 1241 non-RA subjects without CVD. RA patients were significantly more likely to have increased waist circumference and elevated blood pressure than non-RA subjects, even though BMI was similar in both groups. Significantly more RA patients were classified as having MetS. In RA patients, MetS was associated with Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index, large-joint swelling, and uric acid levels, but not with C-reactive protein or RA therapies. Conclusion: Among subjects with no history of CVD, patients with RA are more likely to have MetS than non-RA subjects. MetS in patients with RA was associated with some measures of disease activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Prevalence
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome associated with rheumatoid arthritis in patients without clinical cardiovascular disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this