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P.016 Increased Arterial Stiffness in Young Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis



Chronic inflammation may impair arterial function and lead to an increase of their stiffness and risk of developing early atherosclerosis.

Aim of the study was to assess whether rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and high level of C-reactive protein can influence systemic arterial stiffness and aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) in patients with RA.


We studied 53 RA patients (age 40.1±9.8 years) with moderate and high disease activity (DAS28 3.21–7.05) and 55 controls (age 39.7±8.1 years). Blood test included serum lipid profile, glucose and high-sensitivity CRP (hsCRP) measurement. The carotid-radial PWV and augmentation index (AIx) were assessed noninvasively by applanation tonometry (Sphygmocor v.7.01, AtCor Medical).


In RA patients the adjusted for heart rate AIx (21.3±13.3% vs. 12.7±13.2%; p <0.001) and hsCRP (31.32±40.29 mg/l vs. 1.58±3.36 mg/l; p < 0.001) were significantly higher as compared to the controls. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that RA is significant predictor of increased PWV adjusted for mean blood pressure (p < 0.001). In RA patients and control group correlations were not found between hsCRP and AIx (r = –0.044; p = 0.752 vs. r= 0.215; p = 0.121) as well as between hsCRP and PWV (r = –0.076; p = 0.589 vs. r = –0.014; p = 0.921).


RA is associated with the increase of aortic and systemic arterial stiffness. Elevation of serum hsCRP is not related to the increase of arterial stiffness neither in RA patients nor in controls.

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Cypiene, A., Laucevicius, A., Venalis, A. et al. P.016 Increased Arterial Stiffness in Young Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Artery Res 1 (Suppl 1), S31 (2006).

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