(HealthDay News) – The risks of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) are higher in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) than in those in the general population, according to a study published online Aug. 7 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

In an effort to assess the effects of RA on the risks of developing DVT and PE, Wei-Sheng Chung, MD, of the Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology in Taichung, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study using data for the entire population of Taiwan from 1998–2008 and follow-up through 2010.

Among 23.74 million people in the cohort, the researchers followed 29,238 patients with RA (77% women; mean age, 52.4 years) and 116,952 controls who were randomly frequency-matched by age, sex, and index year. After adjusting for age, sex, and comorbidities, individuals with RA had significantly greater risks of developing DVT (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.36) and PE (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.07) than did individuals in the general population.

“These findings highlight the importance of a multidisciplinary team adopting an integrated approach to the intervention of potential risk factors among patients with RA,” the authors write.

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