Venous thromboembolism risk in rheumatoid arthritis patients: a systematic review and updated meta-analysis

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Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2021 Nov;25(22):7005-7013. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202111_27249.


OBJECTIVE: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients are prone to develop thromboembolic complications due to the chronic inflammatory nature of RA. Only one systematic review and meta-analysis has attempted to evaluate venous thromboembolism risk in RA patients. However, this review has become outdated due to the recent publication of several high-quality retrospective cohort studies. The aim of the study was to evaluate the risks of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and overall venous thromboembolism event incidence in RA patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Five databases (Web of Science, EMBASE, CENTRAL, Scopus, and MEDLINE) were systematically searched according to PRISMA guidelines for eligible studies. With the available literature, we conducted a random-effect meta-analysis to evaluate odds ratios of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and venous thromboembolism incidence in RA patients and healthy controls.

RESULTS: We found 12 eligible studies detailing 272,884 RA patients and 2,280,454 age and sex-matched healthy controls. Meta-analysis revealed elevated risks for deep vein thrombosis (Odd’s ratio: 2.25), pulmonary embolism (2.15), and overall venous thromboembolism incidence (2.23) in RA patients.

CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis provides evidence concerning the elevated risks of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and venous thromboembolism in RA patients. The findings herein may aid in developing clinical awareness and assisting best practice guideline development for RA patients with thromboembolic complications.

PMID:34859863 | DOI:10.26355/eurrev_202111_27249