HealthDay News — Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with a higher risk for developing aortic stenosis, according to a study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Tate M. Johnson, MD, from the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System in Omaha, and colleagues examined the risk for incident aortic stenosis, aortic valve intervention, aortic stenosis-related death, and risk factors for aortic stenosis in patients with RA. The analysis included 73,070 patients with RA and 639,268 matched controls without RA.

The researchers found that the aortic stenosis incidence rate was 3.97 per 1000 person-years in patients with RA vs 2.45 per 1000 person-years in control patients (absolute difference, 1.52 per 1000 person-years). There was an increased risk observed for composite aortic stenosis with RA (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.48), as well as for aortic valve intervention (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.34) and aortic stenosis-related death (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.26).

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“Findings of this study suggest that RA is associated with a higher risk of developing aortic stenosis as well as the subsequent risks of aortic valve intervention and aortic stenosis-related death,” the authors write. “Future studies are needed to confirm whether valvular heart disease, specifically aortic stenosis, may be an overlooked cardiovascular disease complication in RA.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the industry.

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