Cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke due to enhanced inflammatory
atherosclerosis account for increased premature mortality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Accumulated
evidence suggests that accelerated atherosclerosis and related cardiovascular comorbidities
in RA are confounded not only by traditional risk factors (TRF) but also by a number of immune and
inflammatory pathways. Since chronic inflammation and autoimmune disorders play a key role in atherosclerosis
and related cardiovascular complications in RA, effective suppression of systemic inflammation can be viewed
as a strategy for cardiovascular therapy and prevention in this disease. This article overviews some mechanisms of action
of methotrexate on TRF, clinical and subclinical manifestations of RA-induced atherosclerosis, and related cardiovascular
morbidity and mortality.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, methotrexate, rheumatoid arthritis.
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