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Rheumatoid arthritis increases the risk of heart failure-current evidence from genome-wide association studies.

BACKGROUND: Numerous studies have demonstrated that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is related to increased incidence of heart failure (HF), but the underlying association remains unclear. In this study, the potential association of RA and HF was clarified using Mendelian randomization analysis.

METHODS: Genetic tools for RA, HF, autoimmune disease (AD), and NT-proBNP were acquired from genome-wide studies without population overlap. The inverse variance weighting method was employed for MR analysis. Meanwhile, the results were verified in terms of reliability by using a series of analyses and assessments.

RESULTS: According to MR analysis, its genetic susceptibility to RA may lead to increased risk of heart failure (OR=1.02226, 95%CI [1.005495-1.039304], P =0.009067), but RA was not associated with NT-proBNP. In addition, RA was a type of AD, and the genetic susceptibility of AD had a close relation to increased risk of heart failure (OR=1.045157, 95%CI [1.010249-1.081272], P =0.010825), while AD was not associated with NT-proBNP. In addition, the MR Steiger test revealed that RA was causal for HF and not the opposite (P = 0.000).

CONCLUSION: The causal role of RA in HF was explored to recognize the underlying mechanisms of RA and facilitate comprehensive HF evaluation and treatment of RA.

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