Onset of Hypertension in Leflunamide Treated Low Socioeconomic Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: An Unseen Iceberg

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Author(s): Muhammad Ishaq, Salma Razzaque, Fadieleh Shohail, Ajeet Kumar, Jibran Sualeh Muhammad*.

Journal Name: Current Rheumatology Reviews

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Objective: To determine the frequency of new-onset hypertension in patients with Rheumatoid arthritis taking leflunomide, in comparison with methotrexate in Asian setting.

Material and Methods: Perspective case-control study was conducted in 2014 in a tertiary care hospital located in Karachi, Pakistan. Adult patients, having rheumatoid arthritis were randomly prescribed leflunomide or methotrexate. Patients having chronic hypertension, proteinuria and chronic kidney disease were excluded. Patients were monthly followed for blood pressure and heart rate measurements. Hypertension was defined using JNC 7 criteria.

Results: Out of 144 patients enrolled, 80 patients received Leflunomide while 64 were started on methotrexate. Mean systolic blood pressure in leflunomide group at the start and at the end of study was 108.5 and 135.4mmHg, respectively while in methotrexate group, mean systolic BP was 109.8 and 110.5 mmhg, respectively. After one year follow up, 33 out of 80 (41%) patients were receiving leflunomide had pre-hypertension or hypertension, while only 3 out of 64 patients (4.7%) were receiving methotrexate had hypertension.

Conclusion: Risk of developing hypertension in patient receiving Leflunomide is much higher in Asian population like Pakistan as compared to western population.

Keywords: Hypertension, Leflunomide, Rheumatoid arthritis

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(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/1573397114666171227211048
Price: $95

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