Objective: To evaluate the cardiovascular risk profile of spondylarthropathy patients, particularly ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.
Methods: A Pubmed literature search was performed to collect English-language articles for this clinically orientated review. Studies were selected if they included (cardiovascular) mortality and morbidity and/or data about cardiovascular risk factors in spondylarthropathies.
Results: Ankylosing spondylitis as well as psoriatic arthritis appear to be associated with an increased cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. Several factors, ie, smoking, altered lipid profile, hypertension, increased fibrinogen level, enhanced number of platelets, and hypercoagulability might explain the enhanced cardiovascular risk. Moreover, a decline in physical activity, the presence of HLA-B27, and inflammation may play a role. Finally, undertreatment of cardiovascular morbidity also may contribute to the higher cardiovascular risk.
Conclusions: The available data indicate an increased cardiovascular risk in spondylarthropathy patients, particularly those with ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.
Relevance: Rheumatologists should be aware of the enhanced cardiovascular risk in patients with ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. If modifiable cardiovascular risk factors are identified, treatment could ultimately result in a lower cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.