Background: While the chronic inflammation related to autoimmune diseases is known to be associated with an increased cardiovascular risk, much less is known about cerebrovascular risks.
Objectives: The present population-based, age- and sex-matched follow-up study was undertaken to investigate the risks of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and ischaemic stroke in patients with dermatomyositis (DMS).
Methods: In total 907 patients with DMS were enrolled and compared with a non-DMS control group consisting of 4535 age- and sex-matched, randomly sampled subjects without DMS. The AMI-free and ischaemic stroke-free survival curves were generated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to estimate the DMS-associated risks of AMI and ischaemic stroke.
Results: During the 2-year follow-up period, 14 patients with DMS (1.5%) and 18 patients in the non-DMS control group (0.4%) suffered AMIs. The crude hazard ratio (HR) for suffering an AMI in patients with DMS compared with subjects in the non-DMS group was 3.96 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.97-7.96, P = 0.0001], while the adjusted HR was 3.37 (95% CI 1.67-6.80, P = 0.0007), after taking into account demographic characteristics and cardiovascular comorbidities. During the same follow-up period, 46 patients (5.1%) and 133 subjects in the control group (2.9%) developed ischaemic strokes. The crude HR for developing an ischaemic stroke in patients with DMS compared with subjects in the non-DMS group was 1.78 (95% CI 1.27-2.49, P = 0.0007), and the adjusted HR was 1.67 (95% CI, 1.19-2.34, P = 0.0028).
Conclusions: These findings suggest that DMS is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events.
© 2013 The Authors. BJD © 2013 British Association of Dermatologists.