Objectives: The spondyloarthritides (SpA) are associated with an increased cardiovascular risk. We studied cardiovascular risk factors in patients with SpA.
Methods: The following risk factors were assessed in SpA patients and healthy controls: smoking, family history of premature ischemic heart disease, obesity, serum lipids, apolipoproteins, urate and carotid intima media thickness (IMT).
Results: Overall 150 patients (73 with ankylosing spondylitis [AS], 71 with psoriatic arthritis [PsA] and six with other SpA types) were included. Generally SpA patients were significantly more often smokers, while PsA patients had greater values of abdominal obesity. AS patients had significantly lower levels of triglyceride, HDL, ApoB, ApoE and Lp(a) and a higher atherogenic index (total cholesterol/HDL). PsA patients had significantly lower levels of HDL, ApoAI and ApoE, an elevated atherogenic index and higher serum urate. In multivariate analysis the atherogenic index was positively associated with SpA across all patient groups independently of smoking and other lipid parameters. Carotid IMT in SpA patients (0.71 mm) was higher than controls (0.63 mm, P=0.017), although after adjusting for smoking this ceased to be significant. Treatment of patients with previously untreated disease resulted in a small but significant decline in ApoB levels at 6 months (P=0.045), which, however, was no longer evident at 12 months.
Conclusion: Spondyloarthritis patients are at a greater cardiovascular risk owing to the higher prevalence of smoking and a higher atherogenic index. PsA patients have more abdominal fat and higher urate levels. Immunosuppressive treatment of SpA produces minor and temporary effects on the lipid profile.
Keywords: Ankylosing spondylitis; Apolipoprotein; Atherogenic index; Cholesterol; Psoriatic arthritis; Spondyloarthritis.
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