The Prevalence of Aortic Calcification on Vertebral Fracture Assessment Imaging Among Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis
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Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at increased risk of osteoporosis (OP) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans have been validated for identifying patients with RA at risk for fracture. Reliable CVD risk stratification remains an unmet need in this population. Vertebral fracture assessment (VFA)-detected abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) has been validated as a marker of CVD in other populations, but the prevalence among patients with RA is unknown. In this study, we determined the prevalence and severity of AAC on VFA scans in a cohort of patients with RA. AAC was detected in 211 of the 603 (35%) eligible subjects; 24% were graded as severe. In multivariable analyses, the presence of AAC was significantly associated with longer disease duration and higher disease activity (p<0.05). Further studies are needed on the relationship between AAC and CVD in patients with RA.
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