Aortic aneurysm associated with rheumatoid arthritis: a population-based cross-sectional study

Ora Shovman, Shmuel Tiosano, Doron Comaneshter, Arnon D. Cohen, Howard Amital, Michael Sherf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is substantial evidence that aortic aneurysm (AA) may be a manifestation of several systemic rheumatic disorders. However, only several studies have assessed the association between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and AA. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of AA in RA patients in a case-control study. A retrospective case-control study was performed utilizing the database of Clalit Health Services (CHS), a large healthcare provider organization in Israel. Data available from the CHS database included age, sex, socioeconomic status (SES), and diagnoses of chronic diseases, including AA. Patients over the age of 20 years who were diagnosed with RA (“cases”) were compared with a sample of age- and gender-matched enrollees without RA (“controls”) regarding the prevalence of AA. Chi-square and t tests were used for univariate analysis, and a logistic regression model was used for multivariate analysis. The study included 11,782 RA patients and 57,973 age- and gender-matched controls. The proportion of AA was significantly higher in RA patients (0.72 %) compared to the control group 0.49 % (odds ratio (OR) 1.48, 95 %; confidence interval (CI) 1.15–1.88; p = 0.002). A multivariate analysis that evaluated covariates associated with AA revealed an independent association of AA and RA after adjustment for different factors including age, gender, SES, and smoking status (OR 1.406, 95 %; CI 1.094–1.789; p = 0.006). Our study has demonstrated that AA is more prevalent in patients with RA in comparison with general population. Future large randomized studies are important to identify cardiovascular- and disease-related risk factors for AA formation in RA patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2657-2661
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Rheumatology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR).


  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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