AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE: It exacerbates cardiovascular risk

AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE: It exacerbates cardiovascular risk

The study is based on electronic health records from the UK’s Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), a very large anonymised database of around 20% of the current UK population. Among 22 million patient records, the researchers assembled a cohort of patients newly diagnosed with one of 19 autoimmune diseases. The team then looked at the incidence of no less than 12 cardiovascular outcomes. This analysis reveals an increased risk of 60% on average of cardiovascular disease in patients with one or more autoimmune diseases.

This increase in cardiovascular risk is particularly high in younger patients and autoimmune disorders thus seem to play a particularly important role in the onset of premature cardiovascular disease, with a risk of loss of years of life and disability. severe in younger patients. .

While more than 10% of the populations of rich countries are diagnosed with autoimmune diseases,

these conclusions are essential. There is a wide spectrum of immune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, systemic sclerosis, lupus erythematosus and type I diabetes and while previous research has already suggested associations between some of these disorders and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, these studies were often limited to some of these autoimmune diseases or to certain cardiovascular effects or disorders.

The study documents a much more global link between autoimmune and cardiovascular disorders: the Belgian team thus delivers the results of an in-depth epidemiological investigation into the possible links between 19 autoimmune diseases and most cardiovascular diseases. The analysis thus reveals that:

  • patients with an autoimmune disease have a considerably higher risk, being multiplied between 1.4 and 3.6 times depending on the autoimmune disease of cardiovascular disease vs people without autoimmune disease;
  • this excess cardiovascular risk correlated with the autoimmune disease is of the same order as that linked to type 2 diabetes, a well-known cardiovascular risk factor;
  • cardiovascular risks also affect the risk of autoimmune diseases as a group of disorders.
  • The entire spectrum of cardiovascular disease is exacerbated by the prevalence of these 19 autoimmune diseases studied and these may cause approximately 6% of cardiovascular events.

Excess cardiovascular risk translates to the entire spectrum of cardiovascular diseasebeyond coronary heart disease, infection-related cardiac disorders, cardiac inflammation, as well as thromboembolic and degenerative cardiac disorders, suggesting that the implications of autoimmunity on cardiovascular health are likely to be be much larger than previously thought;

  • this excess risk correlated with autoimmune disease is therefore not explained by traditional cardiovascular risk factors such as age, sex, socio-economic status, blood pressure, BMI, smoking, cholesterol and type 2 diabetes; autoimmune diseases therefore appear to be an independent cardiovascular risk factor.
  • the excess risk appears particularly high in patients with autoimmune diseases under the age of 55, which suggests the key role of autoimmune disease in the onset of premature cardiovascular disease, with serious consequences in terms of years of healthy life, since these are younger patients.

” We must act “, alert Nathalie Conrad, the lead author of the study. “We see that the excess risk is comparable to that of type 2 diabetes. But if we have specific measures to reduce this risk in diabetic patients, we do not have similar measures for patients with diabetes. autoimmune disease “.

In conclusion, it should therefore be noted that a wide range of autoimmune disorders are associated with a whole variety of cardiovascular problems.

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