Gender differences in cardiovascular risk of patients with rheumatoid arthritis

M. Adawi, B. Gurovich, S. Firas, A. Watad, N. L. Bragazzi, H. Amital, R. Sirchan, A. Blum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease, affecting women more than men, with a more aggressive course in women. Design: A prospective study that recruited 58 patients (46 women aged 56 ± 12 years) with active long-standing RA disease (>12 months). Our goals were to measure their endothelial function, part of the cardiovascular risk assessment. Methods: The Brachial Artery method measured endothelial function (the flow mediated percent change [FMD percentage] of the brachial artery diameter). A senior Rheumatologist clinically evaluated all subjects. Mann Whitney rank sum test estimated gender differences among the RA patients. Results: Median FMD% change for men was-6.07%, while median FMD% change for women was 0.44% (Z = 2.38, P = 0.01). Baseline Brachial artery diameter was larger in men (Z = 2.52, P = 0.01); however, tender joints count and BMI were greater in women (Z=-2.24, P = 0.01; Z=-3.99, P = 0.001), respectively. Conclusions: Women with RA have significantly better endothelial function than men with RA. It means that even though RA is 3-fold more prevalent in women, women are more protected from atherosclerotic coronary artery disease and cardiac events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-661
Number of pages5
JournalQJM: An International Journal of Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019

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