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Incident Cardiovascular Disease Risk Up With Autoimmune Disease

Risk increased progressively with the number of autoimmune diseases present and with younger age

FRIDAY, Sept. 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Individuals with autoimmune disease have an increased risk for developing incident cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online Aug. 27 in The Lancet to coincide with the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2022, held from Aug. 26 to 29 in Barcelona, Spain.

Nathalie Conrad, Ph.D., from KU Leuven in Belgium, and colleagues conducted a population-based study involving a cohort of individuals across the United Kingdom who were newly diagnosed with any of 19 autoimmune diseases between Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2017, who were free of cardiovascular disease up to 12 months after diagnosis, and a matched cohort (446,449 and 2,102,830 participants, respectively). The incidence of 12 cardiovascular outcomes was examined.

The researchers found that during a median follow-up of 6.2 years, 15.3 and 11.0 percent of those with and without autoimmune diseases developed incident cardiovascular disease, with an incidence rate of 23.3 and 15.0 events per 1,000 patient-years (hazard ratio, 1.56). For every individual cardiovascular disease, the risk was increased with autoimmune disease; risk increased progressively with the number of autoimmune diseases present (hazard ratios, 1.41, 2.63, and 3.79 for one, two, and three or more diseases, respectively) and with younger age (hazard ratios, 2.33, 1.76, and 1.30 for age younger than 45 years, 55 to 64 years, and 75 years or older, respectively). The highest overall cardiovascular risk was seen for systemic sclerosis, Addison disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, and type 1 diabetes (hazard ratios, 3.59, 2.83, 2.82, and 2.36, respectively).

“The substantial cardiovascular risk observed in patients with autoimmune diseases, particularly in younger age groups, suggests that strategies to reduce cardiovascular risk should become a routine part of autoimmune disease management,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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