Use of hydroxychloroquine and risk of heart failure in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Ahmed A. Sorour, Reto D. Kurmann, Youssef E. Shahin, Cynthia S. Crowson, Sara J. Achenbach, Rekha Mankad, Elena Myasoedova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. To examine the relationship between the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and risk of developing heart failure (HF) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods. In this nested case-control study, cases were Olmsted County, Minnesota residents with incident RA (based on 1987 American College of Rheumatology criteria) from 1980 to 2013 who developed HF after RA incidence. Each case was matched on year of birth, sex, and year of RA incidence with an RA control who did not develop HF. Data on HCQ use including start and stop dates, as well as dose changes, were reviewed and used to calculate HCQ duration and cumulative dose. Age-adjusted logistic regression models were used to examine the association between HCQ and HF. Results. The study identified 143 RA cases diagnosed with HF (mean age 65.8 yrs, 62% females) and 143 non-HF RA controls (mean age 64.5, 62% female). HCQ cumulative dose was not associated with HF (OR 0.96 per 100-g increase in cumulative dose, 95% CI 0.90–1.03). Likewise, no association was found for patients with a cumulative dose ≥ 300 g (OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.41–2.08). The HCQ duration of intake in years prior to index was not associated with HF (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.91–1.05). Conclusion. Use of HCQ was not associated with development of HF in patients with RA in this study. Further studies are needed to understand the effect of higher doses of HCQ on the development of HF in RA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1508-1511
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021


  • Drug toxicity
  • Heart failure
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology


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