Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are associated with increased risk for early-onset atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD), independent of traditional atherosclerotic risk factors, according to study results published in The American Journal of Medicine.
Previous studies reported that patients with rheumatic diseases are at increased risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, compared with the general population with traditional risk factors. Limited data suggested accelerated atherosclerosisin patients with rheumatic diseases. Here, the researchers investigate the prevalence of premature and extremely premature atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
The researchers used data from the Veterans With Premature Atherosclerosis (VITAL) registry and identified 135,703 patients with first atherosclerotic cardiovascular events at age