Lipid testing in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and key cardiovascular-related comorbidities

Annual lipid testing is recommended to reduce morbidity and mortality for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and comorbid cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or hyperlipidemia. Dr. Christie Bartels et al. used Chronic Conditions Warehouse data to examine the extent to which lipid testing was performed among patients over 65 years old with rheumatoid arthritis and found that although 90% of the patients had cardiovascular disease, 64% had hyperlipidemia, and 46% had diabetes, annual lipid testing was only performed in 63% of the patients. Additionally, 30% of patients saw a primary care provider less than once per year, and those patients were 16% less likely to have lipid testing. Patients who were older, had higher complexity scores, more hospitalizations, and lived in a large town were also less likely to receive lipid testing.

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