Cardiovascular risk and its modification in patients with connective tissue diseases

Miriam O'Sullivan, Ian N. Bruce, Deborah P M Symmons

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It is well documented that patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are at an increased risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular (CV) disease. There is evidence that traditional risk factors and disease-related factors are involved in this increased risk. Less is known about CV risk and outcomes in other connective tissue diseases (CTDs). Future longitudinal observational studies may help to answer these important questions; however, because CTDs are rare, collaboration between clinicians with similar research interests is needed to ensure sufficiently large cohorts are available to address these issues.Here, we review the evidence available for CV risk in CTDs and discuss the benefits of longitudinal observational studies in identifying CV outcomes. Structured care protocols for the management of CV risk in CTDs are lacking. We propose a target-based approach to assessing and managing CV risk in CTDs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Rheumatology
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2016


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cardiovascular risk management
  • Connective tissue diseases
  • Idiopathic inflammatory myopathies
  • Primary Sjögren's syndrome
  • SLE
  • Systemic sclerosis


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