This article was originally published here
J Rheumatol. 2021 Jan 15:jrheum.201226. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.201226. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: Both erectile dysfunction (ED) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are associated with increased cardiovascular risk. It is unknown if these diagnoses are associated or if their combination confers additional cardiovascular risk. We aim to define the incidence of ED in RA, and determine if ED correlates with increased cardiovascular risk in RA.
METHODS: Medical information concerning RA, ED and cardiovascular diagnoses for men with RA (n=260) diagnosed in Olmsted county, Minnesota and age-matched male comparators was extracted from a comprehensive medical record system.
RESULTS: ED incidence was similar between the RA cohort and comparators (HR 0.80; 95% CI 0.55-1.16). In men with RA, ED diagnosis was associated with a trend toward an increase in peripheral arterial disease (HR 2.22; 95% CI 0.98-5.03) and a significantly decreased rate of myocardial infarction (HR 0.26; 95% CI 0.07-0.90), heart failure (HR 0.49; 95% CI 0.25-0.94) and death (HR 0.56; 95% CI 0.36-0.87). In men with RA and ED, phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor use was associated with a decreased risk of death (HR 0.35; 95% CI 0.16-0.79), with a trending decreased risk of some cardiovascular diagnoses.
CONCLUSION: Incidence of ED was not statistically increased in RA. Although patients with both RA and ED had a similar overall cardiovascular risk to those with RA alone, men with both RA and ED had decreased risk of heart failure, myocardial infarction and death, as well as an increased risk of peripheral arterial disease. Further studies are needed to clarify these associations and their implications for pathogenesis and therapeutics.