Atherosclerosis in the Rheumatic Diseases: Compounding the Age Risk

  • Naoto Yokogawa
  • Joan M. Von FeldtEmail author


In geriatrics, atherosclerosis is a common ­comorbidity, since aging is the strongest risk factor for its development. Patients with autoimmune rheumatic disease have an increased risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular ­disease (ASCVD) morbidity and mortality. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have been studied the most, but other autoimmune diseases may confer the risk of ASCVD as well. In addition to traditional risk factors, systemic inflammation likely contributes to ASCVD risk. Atherosclerosis is considered an inflammatory process, and may be accelerated by systemic inflammation. ASCVD risk reduction can be targeted by aggressive management of ASCVD risk factors and the primary rheumatic disease.


Atherosclerosis Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease Endothelial dysfunction Inflammation Intimal-medial thickness Morbidity Mortality Rheumatic ­diseases Rheumatoid arthritis Systemic lupus erythematosus 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Education Veterans Administration Medical CenterUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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