Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have higher odds of premature and extremely premature atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a study published online in The American Journal of Medicine.
In the study, researchers compared 135,703 patients with premature (males <55 years, females <65 years) and 7716 patients with extremely premature (<40 years) atherosclerotic CVD with age-matched patients without atherosclerotic CVD to assess for independent associations with SLE, RA, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
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The prevalence of all rheumatic diseases was higher in patients with premature and extremely premature atherosclerotic CVD compared with patients without atherosclerotic CVD, the researchers found.
The odds ratio of premature atherosclerotic CVD was 1.69 for SLE (95% CI: 1.56-1.83) and 1.72 (95% CI: 1.63-1.8) for RA, the researchers reported. The odds ratio of extremely premature atherosclerotic CVD was 3.06 (95% CI: 2.38-3.93) for SLE and 2.39 (95% CI: 1.85-3.08) for RA.
“Patients with SLE and RA carry higher odds of both premature and extremely premature atherosclerotic CVD,” the researchers concluded. “Future studies are needed to understand the rheumatic disease-specific factors behind the development and progression of clinical atherosclerotic CVD in these young patients.”
Mahtta D, Gupta A, Ramsey DJ, et al. Autoimmune rheumatic diseases and premature atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease: an analysis from the VITAL (Veterans wIth premaTure AtheroscLerosis) registry. Am J Med. Published online June 26, 2020. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2020.05.026