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Patients with autoimmune diseases at greater risk of complications after heart attack

In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers assessed midterm and management outcomes of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) among patients with rheumatic immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs).

AMI has been associated with a cascade of local and remote immune response activation. In addition, studies have reported a positive association between rheumatic IMIDs and the risk of cardiovascular disorders such as ACS (acute coronary syndrome). However, the long-term prognosis of ACS among patients with rheumatic IMIDs has not been well-characterized.

​​​​​​​Study: Outcomes Following Acute Coronary Syndrome in Patients With and Without Rheumatic Immune‐Mediated Inflammatory Diseases. ​​​​​​​Image Credit: Mr Dasenna / Shutterstock

About the study

The present study evaluated AMI outcomes among patients with rheumatic IMIDs.

The study comprised 1,654,862 Medicare beneficiaries with a 3.6% prevalence of rheumatic IMIDs, the most common of which was rheumatoid arthritis, followed by systemic lupus erythematosus, and hospitalized between  January 2014 and December 2019. The outcomes of patients with AMI and concomitant rheumatic IMIDs such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), dermatomyositis, psoriasis, or systemic sclerosis were compared to those among 1:3 (IMID group: controls) propensity-score-matched (PSM) control patients with no rheumatic IMIDs.

Data were obtained for patients' race, sex, age, and enrollment dates, and PSM was performed to adjust for variables such as sex, race, age, ST-segment–elevation MI (STEMI), comorbidities, and non–STEMI (NSTEMI). The team excluded patients aged <65 years and those not enrolled in fee-for-service for ≥1 year prior to the index MI admission.

All-cause mortality was the primary outcome of the study. Secondary study outcomes were in-hospital AKI (acute kidney injury), major bleeding, 30-day and one-year deaths, period of hospital readmission due to MI, stroke, HF (heart failure), and coronary revascularization requirements [PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) or CABG (coronary artery bypass graft), and burden of readmission due to HF in the initial post-MI year (which was measured as the rate for every 100 individual-months).

A one-year look-back period was considered for ascertaining patient comorbidities based on the ICD (international classification of diseases) codes submitted in inpatient medical claims. Mortality data and readmissions data were available through August 2020 and December 2019, respectively. Regression modeling was used for the analysis, and the adjusted hazard ratios (HRs), odds ratios (OR), and relative risks (RR) were calculated. In addition, sensitivity analyses were performed with data adjustments for sex, race, age, and comorbid conditions without PSM, and evaluation of the study outcomes considering each rheumatic IMID separately.


The final cohort after propensity score matching included 59 820 patients with rheumatic IMIDs versus 178,547 patients without. Rheumatic IMID was reported in 3.6% of patients, and the most commonly reported rheumatic IMIDs were RA and SLE, reported in 46,747 and 7,362 individuals, respectively. Psoriasis, systemic sclerosis, and dermatomyositis were reported in 3,098, 1,738, and 1,127 patients, respectively.

In comparison to non-rheumatic IMID patients, rheumatic IMID patients were lower aged (average age of 77 years vs. 78 years), with more likelihood of being female (67% vs. 44%), and with a greater prevalence of NSTEMI (77% vs. 75%) pulmonary hypertension, valvular diseases, anemia, and hypothyroidism.

Among NSTEMI patients, rates of CABG (7.7% vs. 11%), coronary angiography (46% vs. 52%), and PCI (32% vs. 34%) were lesser among rheumatic IMID patients vs. non-rheumatic IMID patients, respectively. Among STEMI patients, the rates of CABG (five percent vs. 6.4%), coronary angiography procedure (78% vs. 81%), and PCI (70% vs. 72%) were lesser among rheumatic IMID patients vs. non-rheumatic IMID patients, respectively.

Patients with rheumatic IMIDs were less likely to undergo coronary angiography, percutaneous coronary intervention, or coronary artery bypass grafting. After PSM and a two-year follow-up, risks for mortality irrespective of acute MI type; (HR 1.2), HF (HR 1.1), recurrent MI (HR 1.1), and coronary reintervention (HR 1.1) were higher among patients with rheumatic IMIDs.

The 30-day death risks were comparable among both the groups (12% vs. 11%), but the one-year death risk was greater among AMI patients with vs. without rheumatic IMIDs (29% vs. 27%, OR 1.2), respectively. In addition, the HF readmission burden at one-year post-index AMI year was significantly greater among AMI patients with rheumatic IMIDs vs. without rheumatic IMIDs (6.2 vs. 5.7 admissions for every 100 individual-month, RR 1.1), respectively. Among in-hospital AMI outcomes, the risks of major bleeding (4.6% vs. 4.9%) and AKI (25% vs. 26%) were lower among AMI patients with rheumatic IMIDs vs. without rheumatic IMIDs.

After the sensitivity analyses, the associations between AMI outcomes and rheumatic IMIDs were not significantly altered. All rheumatic IMIDs, except for psoriasis, were linked to more significant mortality risks and recurrent MI risks, whereas RA, systemic sclerosis, and SLE were linked to more significant HF risks. RA and SLE were associated with higher coronary reintervention requirement risk, whereas only SLE only was linked to greater stroke risk.

Overall, the study findings showed that patients with AMI and rheumatic IMIDs had increased risks of death, heart failure, recurrent MI, and coronary reintervention requirements in the long-term compared to patients without rheumatic IMIDs.

Journal reference:
  • Outcomes Following Acute Coronary Syndrome in Patients With and Without Rheumatic Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases. Heba Wassif, MD, MPH et al. J Am Heart Assoc. 2022;11:e026411. DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.122.026411,

Posted in: Men's Health News | Medical Research News | Medical Condition News | Women's Health News

Tags: Acute Coronary Syndrome, Acute Kidney Injury, Anemia, Angiography, Arthritis, Bleeding, Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, Dermatomyositis, Heart, Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Hospital, Hypothyroidism, Immune Response, International Classification of Diseases, Kidney, Lupus, Lupus Erythematosus, Medicare, Mortality, Myocardial Infarction, Psoriasis, Pulmonary Hypertension, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sclerosis, Stroke, Syndrome, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

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Pooja Toshniwal Paharia

Dr. based clinical-radiological diagnosis and management of oral lesions and conditions and associated maxillofacial disorders.

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