COPD Hospitalization Risk With Rheumatoid Arthritis

HealthDay News — Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have an increased risk of incident chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) hospitalization compared with those in the general population, according to a study published online in Arthritis Care & Research.

Katherine McGuire, from the University of British Columbia in Canada, and colleagues used administrative health data to identify all incident RA cases in British Columbia from January 1996 through December 2006 (n=24,625). The cases were matched on birth year, sex, and index year to 25,396 controls.

The researchers found that the incidence of COPD hospitalization was greater in RA than controls (incidence rate ratio, 1.58). RA cases had a 47% greater risk of COPD hospitalization than controls after adjustment for potential confounders. Even after modeling for smoking and varying COPD definitions, the increased risk remained significant.

“This finding emphasizes the need to control inflammation in RA, not only to prevent joint damage, but also to prevent complications of systemic inflammation, including the development of comorbidities such as cardiovascular diseases and COPD,” conclude the authors.

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McGuire K, Zvina-Zubieta JA, Esdaile JM, et al. Risk of incident chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in rheumatoid arthritis: a population-based cohort study [published online October 19, 2017]. Arthrit Care Res. doi:10.1002/acr.23410