Conference Coverage

ANCA-associated vasculitis appears to increase risk of stroke, death



– Small-vessel vasculitis associated with antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCAs) appears to increase the risk of stroke and overall mortality, results of a French retrospective study suggest.

Patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) were twice as likely as those without to experience a stroke over 7.5 years, Grégory Pugnet, MD, reported at the European Congress of Rheumatology. Their all-cause mortality was also significantly higher, with 30% of the deaths attributed to cardiovascular causes, said Dr. Pugnet of the Internal Medicine Service at Purpan Hospital in Toulouse, France.

“We think this [shows that it] is very important to monitor [these patients] and to be vigilant in our search for cardiovascular complications and cardiovascular risk factors in this population,” he said.

Dr. Pugnet and his colleagues conducted a retrospective study of 125 patients with AAV who were diagnosed in a teaching hospital between 1981 and 2015. He compared cardiovascular outcomes and mortality between this cohort and two French regional registries: the Midi-Pyrénées County Mortality and Acute Myocardial Infarction Registry and the Dijon Stroke Registry. Outcomes were the date of first acute myocardial infarction, date of first stroke, and date of death; the mean follow-up was about 90 months.

Of the 125 patients with AAV, 99 had granulomatosis with polyangiitis, and 26 had microscopic polyangiitis. Preexisting cardiovascular disease was present in 23. Patients were a mean of 61 years old. Hypertension, peripheral artery disease, and coronary artery disease were all more common among those with cardiovascular disease. These patients were also more likely to smoke.

Over the follow-up period, there were 10 acute myocardial infarctions for an incidence of 8.5 per 1,000 person-years. The MI incidence in the Midi-Pyrénées registry was 2.2 per 1,000 person-years, which was a significant difference in an unadjusted analysis. But after adjusting for age, AAV patients were not significantly more likely to experience a heart attack than were those in the registry.

There were nine strokes during the follow-up period for an incidence of 10.2 per 1,000 person-years. After adjusting for age, this was more than three times higher than the rate of 1.9 per 1,000 person-year in the Dijon Stroke Registry – a significant difference.

A total of 22 AAV patients died during the follow-up period, translating to a mortality of 22.5 per 1,000 person-years. Mortality in the stroke registry was 1.9 per 1,000 person-years. An age-adjusted analysis found that AAV patients were about 1.6 times more likely to die than were those in the Midi-Pyrénées registry.

A multivariate regression analysis identified some factors that were independently associated with the outcomes. Smoking almost quadrupled the risk of having any cardiovascular event (hazard ratio, 3.7), and having had a plasma exchange tripled it (HR, 2.9). Smoking and a history of coronary artery disease were significant risk factors for myocardial infarction (HRs of 8.8 and 10.3, respectively). Dr. Pugnet and his associates didn’t find any significant independent risk factors for stroke. Age was not independently associated with any of the outcomes.

Dr. Pugnet reported receiving travel support from AbbVie and Actelion, fees for serving on an advisory board from Grifols, and lecture fees from AbbVie.

On Twitter @alz_gal

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