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Type: Journal article
Title: Risk factors for development of pulmonary arterial hypertension in Australian systemic sclerosis patients: results from a large multicenter cohort study
Author: Morrisroe, K.
Huq, M.
Stevens, W.
Rabusa, C.
Proudman, S.
Nikpour, M.
The Australian Scleroderma Interest Group (ASIG)
Citation: BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 2016; 16(1):134-1-134-8
Publisher: BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 1471-2466
Statement of
Kathleen Morrisroe, Molla Huq, Wendy Stevens, Candice Rabusa, Susanna M. Proudman, Mandana Nikpour and the Australian Scleroderma Interest Group (ASIG)
Abstract: Background: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is the leading cause of mortality in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). We sought to determine the incidence, prevalence and risk factors for PAH development in a large Australian SSc cohort. Methods: PAH was diagnosed on right heart catheterisation (mPAP >25 and PAWP <15 mmHg at rest). Patients with PH secondary to interstitial lung disease (ILD; defined as abnormal HRCT scan and FVC < 60 %) were excluded. Summary statistics, chi-square tests, univariate and multivariable logistic regression along with post-estimation diagnostics were used to determine the associations of different combinations of risk factors with PAH. Results: Among 1579 SSc patients, 8.4 % (132 patients) were diagnosed with PAH over a mean (±SD) follow-up of 3.2 (±2.5) years. The incidence of PAH in this cohort was 0.7 % per annum. Of these, 68.9 % had limited disease subtype (lcSSc). In multivariable regression analysis, the presence of anti-centromere antibody (ACA) (OR 1.6, 95 % CI 1.1-2.5, p = 0.03), oesphageal stricture (OR 2.0, 95 % CI 1.2-3.3, p = 0.006), calcinosis (OR 1.9, 95 % CI 1.2-2.9, p = 0.003), sicca symptoms (OR 1.6, 95 % CI 1.1-2.5, p = 0.03), mild ILD (OR 2.3, 95 % CI 1.5-3.7, p < 0.001) and digital ulcers (OR 1.6, 95 % CI 1.0-2.4, p = 0.03) were predictive of PAH. This model had an area under the curve of 0.7 and concordance of 91.8 %. When analysed by disease subtype, the presence of calcinosis (OR 2.2, 95 % CI 1.4-3.7, p = 0.01), sicca symptoms (OR 2.6, 95 % CI 1.5-4.6, p = 0.001), mild ILD (OR 2.3, 95 % CI 1.4-3.8, p = 0.001) and digital ulcers (OR 1.9, 95 % CI 1.2-3.7, p = 0.01) were predictive of PAH in lcSSc; and oesophageal stricture (OR 4.4, 95 % CI 1.9-10.5, p = 0.001), mild ILD (OR 2.8, 95 % CI 1.2-6.8, p = 0.02) and ACA (OR 5.2, 95 % CI 1.8-14.8, p = 0.002) were predictive of PAH in dcSSc. Conclusions: The incidence and prevalence of PAH in this cohort are 0.7 % per annum and 8.4 %, respectively. The clinical-serologic risk factors for PAH differ based on disease subtype. In both subtypes, mild ILD is associated with PAH, suggesting the possibility of common pathogenic mechanisms underlying both of these disease manifestations. This model identifies a subset of patients at an appreciably higher risk of developing PAH, who should be screened and would in future, benefit from preventative therapies.
Keywords: Systemic sclerosis; Pulmonary arterial hypertension; Incidence; Prevalence; Risk factors
Description: Published online: 27 September 2016
Rights: © 2016 The Author(s). Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
RMID: 0030056073
DOI: 10.1186/s12890-016-0296-z
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