HLA-DRB1 haplotypes predict cardiovascular mortality in inflammatory polyarthritis independent of CRP and anti-CCP status

Seema Sharma, Darren Plant, John Bowes, Alex Macgregor, Suzanne Verstappen, Anne Barton, Sebastien Viatte

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Abstract

Background: Haplotypes defined by amino acids at HLA-DRB1 positions 11, 71 and 74 associated with susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are associated with radiological outcome, anti-TNF response and all cause-mortality in RA. RA is associated with cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality, but the increased prevalence of risk factors of CV disease in RA only partially explains this association. The aim of this study was to investigate whether amino acids at positions 11, 71 and 74 of HLA-DRB1 are associated with cardiovascular (CV) mortality in inflammatory polyarthritis (IP).

Methods: The Norfolk Arthritis Register (NOAR) is an incidence register of IP: recruitment 1990–2007, final follow-up 2011. Two thousand five hundred fourteen patients had available genetic and mortality data. Amino acids at positions 11, 71 and 74 of HLA-DRB1 were determined. Univariate Cox proportional hazard models were applied to assess the association of genetic markers and both all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality.

Results: Among 2514 participants, 643 (25.6%) died during the study, and 343 (53.3%) of these deaths were attributed to CV causes. One thousand six hundred fifty (65.6%) participants were female, 709 (32.3%) were anti-CCP-positive and the median age of participants was 54.

HLA-DRB1 haplotypes associated with susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) consistently show the same magnitude and direction of association for overall and CV mortality in IP. For example, the SEA-haplotype, associated with the lowest susceptibility to RA, and the best radiographic outcome, was found to be associated with decreased CV mortality (HR 0.67, 95% CI 0.47, 0.91, p=0.023). Mediation analysis revealed associations were independent of anti-CCP status.

Conclusions: HLA-DRB1 haplotypes associated with susceptibility to RA also predispose to increased risk of CV mortality in IP, independent of known CV risk factors. Associations were independent of anti-CCP status, which suggests in the future, genetic factors will add to the prediction of risk of cardiovascular mortality beyond serological markers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number90
JournalArthritis Research & Therapy
Volume24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Anti-citrullinated protein antibodies
  • Cardiovascular mortality
  • Genetic biomarkers
  • HLA-DRB1
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

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