Objectives: Primary aims were to compare adipose tissue distribution in adult patients with juvenile-onset dermatomyositis (JDM), with matched controls. Secondary aims were to explore how adipose tissue distribution is associated with cardio-metabolic status (cardiac dysfunction and metabolic syndrome) in patients.
Methods: Thirty-nine JDM patients (all aged ≥18 y, mean age 31.7 y and 51% female) were examined mean 22.7 y (SD 8.9 y) after disease onset and compared with 39 age/sex-matched controls. In patients, disease activity and lipodystrophy were assessed by validated tools and use of prednisolone noted. In all participants, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and echocardiography were used to measure visceral adipose tissue (VAT)(g) and cardiac function, respectively. Risk factors for metabolic syndrome were measured and associations with adipose tissue distribution explored. For primary and secondary aims respectively, p-values ≤ 0.05 and ≤ 0.01 were considered significant.
Results: Patients exhibited a 2.4-fold increase in VAT, and reduced HDL-cholesterol values compared with controls (p-values ≤ 0.05). Metabolic syndrome was found in 25.7% of the patients and none of the controls. Cardiac dysfunction (systolic and/or diastolic) was found in 23.7% of patients and 8.1% of controls (p= 0.07). In patients, VAT levels were correlated with age, disease duration and occurrence of metabolic syndrome and cardiac dysfunction. Occurrence of lipodystrophy (p= 0.02) and male sex (p= 0.04) tended to be independently associated with cardiac dysfunction.
Conclusion: Adults with JDM showed more central adiposity and cardio-metabolic alterations than controls. Further, VAT was found increased with disease duration, which was associated with development of cardio-metabolic syndrome.
Keywords: Juvenile dermatomyositis; cardiac dysfunction; cardio-metabolic syndrome; lipodystrophy; metabolic syndrome; visceral adipose tissue.
© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology.