Kidney Dysfunction Frequent in Rheumatoid Arthritis

R&AConnection News: Kidney dysfunction is more common among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) than previously thought according to Japanese researchers.  Those with RA most impacted are older patients, women, and those with high blood pressure.

To examine current patterns of kidney dysfunction in RA, Japanese doctors conducted evaluated 1908 patients from three outpatient centers in Japan during 2014 and 2015. For each patient, they collected demographic characteristics, RA disease features such as duration, disease activity, and seropositivity, medication use, and traditional cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Using an established measure of kidney function the doctors reported that ~34% of RA patients evaluated had kidney dysfunction. RA patients with kidney dysfunction were older, had longer duration of RA and more often had a higher level of disability.  Age over 65, female gender, and a history of high blood pressure were more likely to have kidney problems.

The doctors postulated that renal involvement in RA may be increasing despite modern treatments, and may be contributing to RA patients’ persistently increased mortality.  Regular monitoring of renal function is advisable in patients with RA, so that early intervention can help prevent kidney complications, they concluded.


Mori S, et al “Prevalence of and factors associated with renal dysfunction in rheumatoid arthritis patients: a cross-sectional study in community hospitals” Clin Rheumatol 2017;36:2673-2682: DOI:10.1007/s10067-017-3804-5.

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