Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 37, Issue 11, pp 2917–2926 | Cite as

Risk of adverse outcomes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis hospitalized for stroke—a cross-sectional study

  • Jiunn-Horng Kang
  • Sudha Xirasagar
  • Herng-Ching LinEmail author
  • Pai-Feng Kao
  • Li-Chin Sung
Original Article


Specific data regarding the full range of stroke outcomes among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are lacking. This study aimed to investigate outcomes in RA patients hospitalized for a stroke. The study retrieved data from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005. We identified 26,336 patients who were hospitalized for stroke treatment. Of these patients, 736 patients with a prior diagnosis of RA before the index hospitalization were selected as the study group. We selected 2208 age–sex-matched patients without RA as the comparison group. We performed conditional logistic regressions to calculate odds ratios (ORs) for in-hospital mortality and secondary diagnoses of pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs), peptic ulcers, acute respiratory failure, and the use of mechanical ventilation to compare RA patients and comparison patients. We also compared the length of stay (LOS) and hospitalization costs between patients with RA and comparison patients. We found that RA patients had a significantly increased risk of peptic ulcer during the stroke hospitalization (OR = 1.52, 95% CI = 1.05–2.20). However, there were no significant differences between patients with RA and comparison patients in terms of in-hospital mortality, pneumonia, UTIs, acute respiratory failure, or the use of mechanical ventilation. Furthermore, the LOS of stroke hospitalization did not differ between the two groups. We concluded that RA patients hospitalized for a stroke do not have a significantly different risk of in-hospital mortality, pneumonia, UTIs, and mechanical ventilator use, but they have a higher risk of peptic ulcers. Additionally, among patients with a subarachnoid/intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke, RA patients were more likely to have received mechanical ventilation than comparison patients (adjusted OR = 1.89, 95% CI = 1.14–3.15).


Cardiovascular risk Epidemiology Rheumatoid arthritis Stroke 


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Copyright information

© International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationTaipei Medical University HospitalTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, College of MedicineTaipei Medical UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Health Services Policy and Management, Arnold School of Public HealthUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  4. 4.School of Health Care AdministrationTaipei Medical UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  5. 5.Sleep Research CenterTaipei Medical University HospitalTaipeiTaiwan
  6. 6.Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, College of MedicineTaipei Medical UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  7. 7.Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Shuang Ho HospitalTaipei Medical University TaipeiTaipeiTaiwan

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