Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), is a term used to describe a group of inflammatory disorders
beginning before the age of 16 years. Although for the majority of children remission is
achieved early, those with systemic or polyarticular form of the disease may present persistent
symptoms in adulthood. Considering that there is overlap in the pathogenesis of JIA with adult
rheumatic diseases, concerns have been raised as to whether JIA patients could be at increased
cardiovascular (CV) risk in the long-term. In this review, we summarize evidence for CV
involvement in JIA and present data on CV risk factors and surrogate markers of arterial
disease. We also provide information on beneficial and harmful CV effects of antiinflammatory medications in the context of JIA and suggest strategies for CV screening.
Overall, patients with systemic forms of JIA demonstrate an adverse lipid profile and early
arterial changes relevant to accelerated arterial disease progression. Although there is paucity
of data on CV outcomes, we recommend a holistic approach in the management of JIA patients
which includes CV risk factor monitoring and lifestyle modification as well as use, when
necessary, of anti-inflammatory therapies with documented CV safety.
Keywords: juvenile idiopathic arthritis, cardiovascular, surrogate markers, outcomes, disease,
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