Rheumatoid arthritis: links with cardiovascular disease and the receptor for advanced glycation end products

Wien Med Wochenschr. 2006 Jan;156(1-2):42-52. doi: 10.1007/s10354-005-0242-9.


Cardiovascular (CV) disease is increased in patients with chronic inflammatory disease, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Furthermore it has become clear at a pathophysiological level, that atherosclerosis has striking similarities with autoimmune disease. This realization has come at a time of paradigm shift in how rheumatologists manage RA, with the availability of biological agents targeting key inflammatory cytokines. This review will focus on the possible causes of increased vascular disease in RA, including the role of traditional CV risk factors. Mechanisms potentially at play, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), altered coagulation, and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitors will be covered in brief. The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) has been identified as a candidate molecule influencing response to ongoing inflammation and autoimmunity. There will be a focus on the role of RAGE in CV disease and RA. As has been the case with many novel molecules, functional polymorphisms are thought to alter disease expression and assist us in coming to terms with the biological activities of the parent molecule. The review will conclude with a discussion of the potential role of the RAGE Glycine 82 Serine polymorphism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / mortality
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Causality
  • Coronary Artery Disease / mortality
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood
  • Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products
  • Receptors, Immunologic / physiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Statistics as Topic


  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products
  • Receptors, Immunologic