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Title: Cardiovascular risk assessment and management in rheumatoid arthritis : are guidelines being followed?
Authors: Magro, Rosalie
Buhagiar, Malcolm
Taliana, Nikita
Borg, Andrew A.
Keywords: Rheumatoid arthritis -- Treatment
Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis -- Medical audit
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Malta Medical Journal
Citation: Malta Medical Journal. 2014, Vol.26(1), p. 49-54
Abstract: Aim: The aim of the audit was to determine whether the cardiovascular risk assessment and management in rheumatoid arthritis patients at Mater Dei Hospital is in concordance with the recommendations by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR). Background: Patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease. This is due to both the high prevalence of traditional risk factors, and systemic inflammation. Method: This audit was carried out retrospectively on 91 patients by using the medical notes to collect data on demographics, co-morbidities, drug history and cardiovascular risk assessment and management over a two year period (August 2010 to July 2012). The data was then analysed in order to assess whether the management of cardiovascular risk in rheumatoid arthritis patients was in concordance with EULAR recommendations. Results: Cardiovascular risk factors were documented as follows over the two year period audited: weight in 27.5%, BMI in 0%, smoking status in 72.5%, blood pressure in 72.5%, blood glucose in 72.5% and lipid profile in 54.9%. Smoking cessation advice was given in 15.8% and advice on other lifestyle changes in 14.3%. 81.1% of hypertensive patients were on treatment recommended as first-line by the guidelines and HbA1c was adequately controlled in 85.7% of diabetic patients in whom it was monitored. Conclusion: Cardiovascular risk factors are highly prevalent in rheumatoid arthritis patients. This audit identified aspects of cardiovascular risk assessment that require improvement. This would enable a better identification of cardiovascular risk factors that could be treated in order to reduce the patients’ cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
Appears in Collections:MMJ, Volume 26, Issue 1
MMJ, Volume 26, Issue 1
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