- Glucocorticoid (GC) use was associated with an increased risk of hypertension in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
- GC doses of ≥7.5mg in particular are associated with hypertension.
Why this matters
- Physicians need to be aware that GCs increase the risk of hypertension, and to monitor patients’ BP more vigilantly while GCs are prescribed.
- This retrospective study included 17,760 patients with incident RA and without hypertension using data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD).
- Funding: supported by the Centre for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis and the National Institute for Health Research Manchester Biomedical Research Centre.
- Of 17,760 patients with RA, 7421 (41.8%) were prescribed GCs during follow-up.
- The overall incident rate of hypertension was 64.1 per 1000 person-years (95% CI, 62.5-65.7).
- GC use was associated with an increased risk of hypertension (adjusted HR [aHR], 1.17; 95% CI, 1.10-1.24).
- When categorised by dose, only doses of ≥ 7.5 mg showed statistically significant association with increased risk of hypertension (7.5-14.9 mg: aHR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.08-1.29; ≥15 mg: aHR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.18-1.56)
- No clear pattern was seen for cumulative doses.
- Retrospective design.
- Possibility of misclassification of medication use.