High CRP level and disease activity can predict cardiovascular disease in axial spondylarthritis patients

According to a new study published in Scientific Reports, the persistence of elevated CRP levels and high disease activity in individuals with axial spondylarthritis (axSpA) may be able to predict cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The researchers evaluated 10-year (2010–2020) retrospective data of 295 axSpA patients. After adjusting for age, sex, and diabetes, a strong association was observed between new fatal or non-fatal cardiovascular events and the persistence of increased CRP levels (HR= 1.03; P = 0.001), Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score > 2.1 (HR= 1.014, P = 0.047), and Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease ActivityI > 4 (HR 1.019, P = 0.006).

Increased CV risk has been noted in patients with axSPA and the presence of comorbidities adversely impair the prognosis of the disease. According to Navarini and co-authors, consistent increase in CRP levels and disease activity scores during follow-up are the most useful biomarkers for identifying axSpA patients at higher risk of CVD.

These findings may help the rheumatologic scientific community to develop a CV risk prediction algorithm with increased prominence for CRP and disease activity scores. Such algorithms will be useful in routine clinical practice to identify patients with a higher CV risk and implement preventive strategies to improve their overall outcome.

Reference: Navarini L, Currado D, Marino A, et al. Persistence of C-reactive protein increased levels and high disease activity are predictors of cardiovascular disease in patients with axial spondyloarthritis. Sci Rep. 2022;12(1):7498. Published 2022 May 7.