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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 515280, 6 pages
Research Article

EULAR Task Force Recommendations on Annual Cardiovascular Risk Assessment for Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: An Audit of the Success of Implementation in a Rheumatology Outpatient Clinic

1Preventive Cardio-Rheuma Clinic, Department of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, P.O. Box 23 Vinderen, 0319 Oslo, Norway
2Department of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, P.O. Box 23 Vinderen, 0319 Oslo, Norway
3Department of Rheumatology, Hospital of Southern Norway Trust, P.O. Box 416, 4604 Kristiansand, Norway

Received 9 June 2014; Accepted 2 October 2014

Academic Editor: Patrick H. Dessein

Copyright © 2015 Eirik Ikdahl et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. EULAR recommendations for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk management include annual CVD risk assessments for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We evaluated the recording of CVD risk factors (CVD-RF) in a rheumatology outpatient clinic, where EULAR recommendations had been implemented. Further, we compared CVD-RF recordings between a regular rheumatology outpatient clinic (RegROC) and a structured arthritis clinic (AC). Methods. In 2012, 1142 RA patients visited the rheumatology outpatient clinic: 612 attended RegROC and 530 attended AC. We conducted a search in the patient journals to ascertain the rate of CVD-RF recording. Results. The overall CVD-RF recording rate was 40.1% in the rheumatology outpatient clinic, reflecting a recording rate of 59.1% in the AC and 23.6% in the RegROC. The odds ratios for having CVD-RFs recorded for patients attending AC compared to RegROC were as follows: blood pressure: 12.4, lipids: 5.0-6.0, glucose: 9.1, HbA1c: 6.1, smoking: 1.4, and for having all the CVD-RFs needed to calculate the CVD risk by the systematic coronary risk evaluation (SCORE): 21.0. Conclusion. The CVD-RF recording rate was low in a rheumatology outpatient clinic. However, a systematic team-based model was superior compared to a RegROC. Further measures are warranted to improve CVD-RF recording in RA patients.