Cardiovascular Consequences of Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases

Author(s): Fabiola Atzeni*, Valeria Nucera, Elisabetta Gerratana, Alessia Fiorenza, Luigi Gianturco, Marco Corda, Piercarlo Sarzi-Puttini

Journal Name: Current Vascular Pharmacology

Volume 18 , Issue 6 , 2020


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Abstract:

The increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus has been extensively documented. Sub-clinical atherosclerosis can be assessed using various non-invasive imaging techniques. However, the mechanisms underlying the higher risk of atherosclerotic CVD in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases are not fully known, although they seem to include chronic low-grade systemic inflammation leading to prolonged endothelial activation, accompanied by a pro-thrombotic/pro-coagulant and autoantibody state. Furthermore, sub-clinical atherosclerosis is also influenced by other traditional risk factors for CVD. Including the individual components of the metabolic syndrome (MetS: obesity, impaired glucose metabolism, dyslipidemia and high blood pressure), the degree of which is higher in these patients than in controls. The aim of this narrative review is to discuss the CV manifestations and risk factors involved in the increased risk of CVD among patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases.

Keywords: Cardiovascular involvement, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, CVD, atherosclerosis.

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