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Raynaud phenomenon and mortality: 20+ years of follow-up of the Charleston Heart Study cohort

Authors Nietert P, Shaftman S, Silver R, Wolf B, Egan BM, Hunt K, Smith E

Received 7 October 2014

Accepted for publication 1 December 2014

Published 3 February 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 161—168


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Henrik Toft Sørensen

Paul J Nietert,1 Stephanie R Shaftman,1 Richard M Silver,2 Bethany J Wolf,1 Brent M Egan,3 Kelly J Hunt,1 Edwin A Smith2

1Department of Public Health Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA; 2Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA; 3Greenville Health System, Care Coordination Institute, Greenville, SC, USA

Background: Raynaud phenomenon (RP) is a temporary vasoconstrictive condition that often manifests itself in the fingers in response to cold or stress. It often co-occurs with certain chronic diseases that impact mortality. Our objective was to determine whether RP has any independent association with survival.
Methods: From 1987–1989, a total of 830 participants of the Charleston Heart Study cohort completed an in-person RP screening questionnaire. Two definitions of RP were used: a broad definition that included both blanching (pallor) and cyanotic color changes and a narrow definition that included only blanching. All-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality were compared between subjects with and without RP using race-specific survival models that adjusted for age, sex, baseline CVD, and 10-year risk of coronary heart disease.
Results: Using the narrow RP definition, we identified a significant interaction between older age and the presence of RP on all-cause mortality. In the broad RP definition model, the presence of RP was not associated with CVD mortality among blacks; however, among whites, the presence of RP was associated with a 1.6-fold increase in the hazard associated with CVD-related death (hazard ratio: 1.55, 95% confidence interval: 1.10–2.20, P=0.013).
Conclusion: RP was independently associated with mortality among older adults in our cohort. Among whites, RP was associated with increased CVD-related death. It is possible that RP may be a sign of undiagnosed vascular disease.

Keywords: Raynaud disease, cohort studies, cardiovascular diseases, survival analysis

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