The comorbidities in relapsing polychondritis have been scarcely described in the literature. Moreover, apart from a few relapsing polychondritis epidemiological studies, no studies specifically addressing relapsing polychondritis distribution according to gender are available. Therefore, the objectives of the present study were: (a) to analyze the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases and its risk factors in a series of patients with relapsing polychondritis; (b) to determine the influence of gender on relapsing polychondritis. A cross-sectional tertiary single center study evaluating 30 relapsing polychondritis cases from 1990 to 2016 was carried out. To compare comorbidities, 60 healthy individuals matched for age-, gender-, ethnicity- and body mass index were recruited. The mean age of relapsing polychondritis patients was 49.0 ± 12.4 years, the median disease duration 6.0 years, and 70% were women. A higher frequency of arterial hypertension (53.3% vs. 23.3%; p = 0.008) and diabetes mellitus (16.7% vs. 3.3%; p = 0.039) was found in the relapsing polychondritis group, compared to the control group. As an additional analysis, patients were compared according to gender distribution (9 men vs. 21 women). The clinical disease onset features were comparable in both genders. However, over the follow-up period, male patients had a greater prevalence of hearing loss, vestibular disorder and uveitis events, and also received more cyclophosphamide therapy (p < 0.05). There was a high prevalence of arterial hypertension and diabetes mellitus, and the male patients seemed to have worse prognosis than the female patients in the follow up.
Autoimmune disease; Cardiovascular diseases; Gender; Relapsing polychondritis