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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2009 Mar-Apr;27(2):292-8.

High prevalence of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk factors in men with ankylosing spondylitis on anti-TNFalpha treatment: correlation with disease activity.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Immunology and Allergy, University Hospital, Heraklion, Greece.



Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) may be associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). We investigated the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in men with AS and assessed any correlation with AS-related factors.


This was a cross-sectional study of 63 men with AS, median age 40 (19-69) years, and 126 age-matched controls. Patients were on anti-TNFalpha treatment because of considerable disease activity at some time during the course of the disease. MetS was assessed according to the modified National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria. The risk for CVD event within the next 10 years was estimated using the Framingham equation.


Patients had lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (p<0.001), higher systolic (p=0.001) and diastolic (p<0.01) blood pressure compared with controls. The prevalence of the MetS was higher in patients compared to controls (34.9% vs. 19.0%; p<0.05). AS patients with MetS were older (p<0.01), with higher Framingham risk score (p=0.001), had longer disease duration (p<0.05) and higher BASDAI (5.1 vs. 3.7; p<0.05) than those without MetS, while both BASFI and CRP had an inverse correlation with HDL-C levels.


Men with AS have a higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and MetS compared with controls. The presence of MetS was associated with increased 10 year CVD risk in these patients. The association of AS disease activity with MetS suggests that CVD in AS patients may, at least in part, be attributed to the inflammatory burden of the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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