Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (CLDL) as a Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor in Rheumatoid Arthritis (cLDL in RA)
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The investigators hypothesize that cLDL levels are elevated in RA patients and represents an important mechanism for accelerated atherosclerosis leading to excess cardiovascular disease (CVD) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. The purpose of this study is to improve understanding of the reasons for increased cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attack and stroke) seen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA, an arthritis that causes inflammation and destruction of joints). Specifically, the study plans to determine whether a particular type of change in proteins in LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol") known as carbamylation is an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases in RA patients. The study will utilize a case−control study design. A total of 120 subjects (males and females between the ages of 18 and 80) may be enrolled in order to ensure that 100 subjects (50 RA case subjects and 50 age and sex matched controls) complete the study. Procedures will consist of a single visit for each subject during which a screening evaluation, an enrollment evaluation, and a single blood draw will be performed.
If a subject consents, any blood samples remaining after the tests planned for this study will be stored indefinitely for potential future new studies. Any future new studies using these blood samples will require prior approval by the UAMS Institutional Review Board (IRB). A subject may request destruction of the stored samples at any time.
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Ages Eligible for Study:
18 Years to 80 Years (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:
Subjects will be recruited from the UAMS Rheumatology Clinic at the UAMS Outpatient Center, Little Rock, other UAMS outpatient clinics, or through advertisement at the UAMS campus and/or the community.
Fulfill the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 1987 Classification Criteria for RA
Have currently active disease as assessed by Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI)score (a validated composite RA activity index) of > 10
Have ≥ 3 swollen joints
Control subjects will be age, sex, and 5-year age categories matched to cases
No historical diagnosis of RA and other primary autoimmune or inflammatory disorders
For both cases and controls:
Renal failure (estimated GFR < 60 ml/min) documented within 3 months of study enrollment (from either subject's self-report or review of available medical records)
Known clinical history of CVD
Current cancer (other than skin)
Current or recent (within past 2 weeks) infection
Individuals taking lipid-lowering medications
Any other condition the PI staff feels will jeopardize the health and welfare of the participants