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Isr Med Assoc J. 2001 Jan;3(1):9-12.

Prevalence of ischemic heart disease in patients with familial Mediterranean fever.

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Heller Institute of Medical Research, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel.



Familial Mediterranean fever is a genetic disorder manifested by recurrent attacks of peritonitis, pleuritis and arthritis, and characterized by clinical, histological and laboratory evidence for localized and systemic inflammation. Colchicine treatment usually prevents the attacks and the associated inflammation. Inflammation may play an important role in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease.


To study the effect of inflammation and its prevention on the occurrence of IHD, using FMF as a model.


We studied the presence of IHD and its risk factors in 290 FMF patients aged 40 years or more, and in two control groups--233 spouses of the FMF patients, and 126 patients with inflammatory diseases obtained from other outpatient clinics, FMF patients were also compared with age and gender-matched individuals from the population reference data of the Israel Ministry of Health.


The prevalence of IHD in FMF patients was significantly lower than in the group of controls from other outpatient clinics (15.5% vs. 30.2%, P < 0.05) and comparable with their spouses (11.2%) and with the matched general population in Israel (16%).


These findings suggest that despite the evidence of recurrent inflammation, colchicine-treated FMF patients are not more predisposed to IHD than the normal population.

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