Atherosclerosis in Sjögren's syndrome: evidence, possible mechanisms and knowledge gaps

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2016 Jan-Feb;34(1):133-42. Epub 2016 Jan 20.


Inflammation has been associated with higher cardiovascular risk in rheumatic autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus. More recently, primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) was also demonstrated as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, emerging as a new interesting model to study atherosclerosis in autoimmune diseases. Patients with pSS have a higher prevalence of developing traditional cardiovascular risk factors like hypertension and dyslipidaemia predisposing for endothelial dysfunction and premature atherosclerosis. However, the disease-specific mechanisms for premature atherosclerosis in pSS are not fully understood. The aim of this review was to critically analyse the current literature on cardiovascular risks in pSS and to discuss the traditional and disease-associated risk factors. We also suggest possible new mechanisms that should be explored in future research to close the current knowledge gaps on the association of pSS, premature atherosclerosis, and clinical cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / blood
  • Atherosclerosis / diagnosis
  • Atherosclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Atherosclerosis / immunology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood
  • Inflammation Mediators / immunology
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Signal Transduction
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / blood
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / immunology


  • Biomarkers
  • Inflammation Mediators