In a nutshell
This study investigated whether there is an increased risk of hospitalization for chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
They found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis had a greater risk of hospitalization for COPD compared to the general population.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a condition caused by long-term inflammation in the joints, that causes pain and reduces mobility. Inflammation has been linked to a number of conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).
COPD is a condition that affects the respiratory system (lungs and airways). It is a serious condition that can require hospitalization. Patients with COPD have higher than normal levels of inflammatory mediators in their blood. As a result it has been suggested that inflammatory diseases such as RA may contribute to the development of COPD.
Methods & findings
This study investigated if there is a greater incidence of hospitalization for COPD in patients with RA.
This study included data from 24,625 patients with RA and 25,396 patients without RA. The medical records of these individuals were obtained and the number of hospitalizations for COPD were noted. Data was also analyzed by comparing groups, such as sex (male vs. female).
Patients with RA had a 47% greater risk of hospitalization for COPD compared to the general population. Men had a slightly (insignificant) greater risk of 25% compared to women who had a much greater risk of 61%.
The bottom line
This study concluded that patients with rheumatoid arthritis had a 47% greater risk of hospitalization for COPD compared to the general population.
The fine print
This was a retrospective study. The results only provide an indication that COPD may be more common in RA patients. This does not necessarily mean that RA causes COPD. This study included predominantly Caucasians and may not translate to other ethnicities.
If you have any questions regarding RA and COPD, please discuss with your physician.
Published By :
Arthritis Care & Research
Oct 19, 2017
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