Objective Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) is characterized by ossification of different entheseal sites. Several metabolic factors have been suggested to be involved in DISH development. We assessed the prevalence of DISH and its relationship to traditional vascular risk factors in a cohort of patients diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases. Methods Among the 521 consecutive patients admitted to the heart diseases rehabilitation program in our Rehabilitative Cardiology Unit, only those (n = 436) with recent coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), a heart valve replacement (HVR), or congestive heart failure (CHF) were enrolled (45 CHF, 338 CABG, and 53 HVR). All patients underwent a rheumatologic examination, blood sample collections, and chest radiographs. Body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and information about sex, age, smoking habit, and other vascular risk factors were recorded. DISH was established according to the Resnick and Niwayama criteria. Results In the setting (77.1% men), the mean ± SD age was 65.44 ± 9.66 years and the overall prevalence of DISH was 30.3%. A logistic regression analysis showed that both age (odds ratio [OR] 1.076, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.044-1.109; P <0.001) and obesity (OR 2.28, 95% CI 1.33-3.89; P = 0.003) were significant predictors of the presence of DISH. An increasing OR for the presence of DISH was found for increasing tertiles of age and BMI. No difference resulted according to other traditional vascular risk factors. BMI and age directly correlated with C-reactive protein levels. Conclusion The overall prevalence of DISH was 30.3%. This is expected because of the study population. Obese and older individuals exhibit a higher risk of DISH development.
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