Atherosclerosis in rheumatic diseases - implication of inflammation, metabolism and treatment
Atherosclerosis has been increasingly recognized as an inflammatory disease in which the development of atherosclerotic plaques has several similarities with the inflammatory and immunological process in rheumatic diseases. Inflammatory rheumatic diseases occur in several percent in the population. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common, with a prevalence of 0.5-1%. For the spondarthritis, which include, among other, psoriasis arthritis (PsA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS), the prevalence is estimated to be around 0.5% for each disease. Today, an increased incidence of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with rheumatic diseases is well-known. How the development differs from that in the general population has not been established.
The aim of our further studies is to study this inflammatory process underlying the atherosclerosis by investigating epidemiology behind, pathogenetic factors in and the outcome after CVD in patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases. These studies can increase the opportunity for prevention of CVD and reduce the suffering in patients with rheumatic diseases, and furthermore contribute to the knowledge of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis in the general population.