The spondyloarthritides are a group of chronic systemic inflammatory joint diseases, the main types being ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Evidence accumulating during the last decades suggests that patients with AS or PsA carry an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular death. This risk appears to be mediated by systemic inflammation over and above classical cardiovascular risk factors. The excess cardiovascular risk in those patients has been formally acknowledged by scientific organizations, which have called physicians’ attention to the matter. The application by Rheumatologists of new effective anti-rheumatic treatments and treat-to-target strategies seems to benefit patients from a cardiovascular point of view, as well. However, more data are needed in order to verify whether anti-rheumatic treatments do have an effect on the cardiovascular risk and whether there are differences among them in this regard. Most importantly, a higher level of awareness of the cardiovascular risk is needed among patients and healthcare providers, better tools to recognize at-risk patients and, ultimately, commitment to address in parallel both the musculoskeletal and the cardiovascular aspect of the disease.
Keywords: Ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, spondyloarthritis, cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, tumor necrosis factor α inhibitors
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