Aim: We designed this study to evaluate the prevalence of comorbidities, their monitoring states and association with treatment medication in Korean rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients compared with patients from other countries. Methods: We analyzed 1050 RA patients from 11 Korean centers and compared them with 3520 patients from 16 other countries using an international, cross-sectional study evaluating comorbidities of RA (COMORA) database. Results: Annual evaluations of cardiovascular (CV) risk were less frequently performed in Korea (P = 0.0011). The prevalence of CV-associated morbidity was similar between Korean and international RA patients, although the proportions of current smokers, patients with a family history of CV disease, patients with hyperlipidemia, and patients with Framingham score > 20% were significantly lower in Korea (P < 0.0001 for all), and the antiplatelet agents were more optimally used in Korea (P = 0.0004). Prostate cancer screening was less frequently performed compared to other countries (P < 0.0001). Less than 10% of Korean RA patients were given influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations according to current recommendations. Conclusions: There are differences in the prevalence of comorbidities and monitoring states of the risk factors between patients in Korea and in other countries. The prevalence of CV morbidity was similar between the two groups although the prevalence of CV risk factors was significantly low in Korea, suggesting that rheumatologists in Korea need to pay more attention to yearly CV risk monitoring, in addition to the screening of malignancy and vaccination of RA patients against infectious diseases.
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