1Ahmed M. Ali,1Samah Allam, 1Maryam Alnuaimi, 1Mohsen Abbas, 1Noor Almuhairi, 1Suad Hannawi

1Ministry Of Health And Prevention


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by excess morbidity and mortality that is large because of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The prevalence of CVD risk factors in RA patients of the United Arab Emirates is not known. this study is the first to describe the prevalence of the cardiovascular disease risk factor among RA patients

Material(s) and Method(s):

The study design was cross-sectional where 229 rheumatoid arthritis patients’ electronic files had been reviewed. The files recruited from 3 main hospitals of the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). MOHAP is the only federal health institute in the UAE, that is responsible for the nationwide health cover in the UAE. All of the RA cases met 2010 EULAR/ACR classification criteria for RA. The lab tests are all carried within the MOHAP labs.


There were 200 females (87%) and 29 males (13%). 85% of the patients had established RA and 15% were early RA cases.  The mean age of the patients was 51 years (Min 22-Max 86). While the mean age at RA symptoms onset was 42 ±16 years, the mean age at diagnosis was 47 ±14 years. 58% of the patients had morning stiffness with a mean duration of 90 minutes. 32% of the patient had a history of hypertension, 7% history of CVD, 22% had diabetes mellitus, and 16% were confirmed to have dyslipidemia and are on anti-lipid medications. 9% of the patient had a history of smoking ever, and 7% gave a history of current smoking. The mean systolic blood pressure was 128 ± 17 mmHg (74-180), mean diastolic blood pressure was 74 ± 11 mmHg (43-99), Extraarticular manifestations (excluding CVD & rheumatoid nodules) presented in 9% of the patients.  Rheumatoid nodules existed in 9% of the patients. The mean body mass index (BMI) was 31± 7 Kg/m2 (3-54),  60% of the patients were Rheumatoid factor positive,  mean ESR was 39±31 mm/hr (2-312), CRP 15 ± 22 mg/dl (1-200), uric acid  266 ± 86 µmol/L (79-675), cholesterol 4.7 ± 1.1 mmol/L (1.8-7.7), triglyceride (TG) 1.3 ±   0.8 mmol/L (0.25- 6.3), high density lipoprotein

(HDL) 1.4 ± 0.44 unit ( 0.08-2.83), mmol/L, and low-density lipoprotein(LDL) 2.8 ± 1 mmol/L (0.85-7.12).


The cluster of CVD risk factors is highly prevalent among the UAE RA population. Early detection and management of the CVD risk factors are of great importance to retard the CVD risk. High ESR and CRP value among RA patients who have full medical service cover by the federal institute indicate the unmet need in RA management.