Atherothrombotic events in rheumatoid arthritis are predicted by homocysteine - a six-year follow-up study.
Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2009 Sep-Oct;27(5):822-5. PMID: 19917166
Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Rheumatology, University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate whether homocysteine is linked to atherothrombotic (AT) events in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: Analysis of homocysteine (Hcy) levels was carried out in 235 consecutive RA patients. They were followed-up for 6.5 years or until death, with analysis of AT risk factors and the type and length of DMARD and corticosteroid treatment. The disease history before inclusion was collected. Six categories of AT events were defined. In addition, the diagnosis of the patients at follow-up was co-analyzed with the nationwide population-based Swedish Inpatient Register and Death Register to certify all events. RESULTS: The Hcy level was found to be higher in males (p<0.05) and increased with age (p<0.001). Patients with folic acid supplementation had significantly lower levels, while those on corticosteroids had higher levels. High Hcy levels predicted AT events (n=48) during a 6.5-year follow-up adjusted for age and male sex in a logistic regression analysis. CONCLUSION: In this study, RA patients on folic acid had lower Hcy levels. High Hcy levels (in addition to age, sex and diabetes) predicted AT event prospectively.