Specific data regarding the full range of stroke outcomes among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are lacking. This study aimed to investigate outcomes in RA patients hospitalized for a stroke. The study retrieved data from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005. We identified 26,336 patients who were hospitalized for stroke treatment. Of these patients, 736 patients with a prior diagnosis of RA before the index hospitalization were selected as the study group. We selected 2208 age–sex-matched patients without RA as the comparison group. We performed conditional logistic regressions to calculate odds ratios (ORs) for in-hospital mortality and secondary diagnoses of pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs), peptic ulcers, acute respiratory failure, and the use of mechanical ventilation to compare RA patients and comparison patients. We also compared the length of stay (LOS) and hospitalization costs between patients with RA and comparison patients. We found that RA patients had a significantly increased risk of peptic ulcer during the stroke hospitalization (OR = 1.52, 95% CI = 1.05–2.20). However, there were no significant differences between patients with RA and comparison patients in terms of in-hospital mortality, pneumonia, UTIs, acute respiratory failure, or the use of mechanical ventilation. Furthermore, the LOS of stroke hospitalization did not differ between the two groups. We concluded that RA patients hospitalized for a stroke do not have a significantly different risk of in-hospital mortality, pneumonia, UTIs, and mechanical ventilator use, but they have a higher risk of peptic ulcers. Additionally, among patients with a subarachnoid/intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke, RA patients were more likely to have received mechanical ventilation than comparison patients (adjusted OR = 1.89, 95% CI = 1.14–3.15).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2917-2926
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Rheumatology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Epidemiology
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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