Women and older men with osteoarthritis (OA) are more likely to be hospitalized for congestive heart failure than those without arthritis. The risk was greatest for patients needing joint replacement surgery, as reported in Arthritis Care & Research.
Although rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other autoimmune forms of arthritis — which are more prevalent in women — are associated with a higher risk of heart disease, little is known about its connection with OA, a condition that is far more common in both sexes.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first prospective longitudinal study of the relationship between OA and CVD,” says M. Mushfiqur Rahman, lead author.
Having OA might raise the risk of cardiovascular disease in older women and men because they are more likely to have concomitant risk factors such as inactivity, obesity, chronic inflammation and muscle weakness and to use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs: celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, meloxicam and naproxen) that are known to increase heart attack risk, according to Rahman, a PhD. candidate at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
Participants were followed for 13 years to 18 years during which nearly 8,000 were hospitalized for various types of heart disease, including myocardial infarction (heart attack), ischemic heart disease (reduced blood flow to the heart), congestive heart failure (reduced ability to circulate blood to the entire body) and stroke (loss of blood to brain cells). Study finding indicate that OA increased the risk of hospitalization for CVD in adult women of all ages and in men 65 and older compared with their counterparts who did not have OA. No increased risk was seen for men under age 65
Highlights from the December 2013 report in Arthritis Care & Research:
- Men who had joint replacement have significantly higher risk for congestive heart failure
- Men age 65 and older who have osteoarthritis (OA) are at 15% increased risk for hospitalization of cardiovascular disease
- In women, the estimated increased risk was 23 percent under age 65 and 17 percent among older women
These results are consistent with prior evidence given that women are higher risk for rheumatic and autoimmune diseases that are associated with chronic inflammatory diseases, such as: rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus and they are at heightened risk for cardiovascular disease and related mortality.