Risk factors for coronary heart disease in connective tissue diseases

Awal Almohmedhusain, Awal Al Husain, Ian N. Bruce

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Atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease risk is enhanced in certain connective tissue diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic vasculitis and antiphospholipid syndrome. The reason for this accelerated process is likely to be multifactorial. Traditional risk factors are more prevalent in some of these patient groups compared with the general population (e.g. smoking in RA and hypertension in SLE). However, these factors do not fully explain that enhanced risk. Chronic inflammation associated with these disorders as well as some specific autoantibodies have been shown to contribute to this increased risk although their role remains controversial. The role of therapies is unclear and while steroids may exacerbate metabolic risk factors, the anti-inflammatory effects of traditional and more novel biological therapies may reduce overall cardiovascular risk in these populations. We recommend proactive screening for modifiable cardiovascular risk factors in patients with these conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2010


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