Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of incident chronic kidney disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies

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Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may have a higher risk of developing chronic kidney (CKD) compared with general population, but the data on this risk are still not well characterized. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to comprehensively investigate this association by reviewing all available studies.


A systematic review was performed using MEDLINE and EMBASE database from inception to July 2019 to identify all cohort studies that compared the risk of developing CKD after index date among patients with RA versus individuals without RA. Pooled risk ratio and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated using random-effect, generic inverse-variance method of DerSimonian and Laird.


A total of four cohort studies (three retrospective cohort studies and four prospective cohort study) comprising of 1,627,833 participants met the inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. The overall quality of the included studies was good. The risk of incident CKD was significantly increased among patients with RA with the pooled risk ratio of 1.52 (95% CI 1.28–1.80). The statistical heterogeneity was high with an I2 of 82%.


A significantly increased risk of incident CKD among patients with RA compared with individuals without RA was demonstrated in this study.

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Correspondence to Patompong Ungprasert.

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Raksasuk, S., Ungprasert, P. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of incident chronic kidney disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Int Urol Nephrol 52, 147–154 (2020) doi:10.1007/s11255-019-02346-4

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  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic review