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Lupus. 2010 Jul;19(8):941-8. doi: 10.1177/0961203310367504.

Cardiovascular risk factors in primary Sjögren's syndrome: a case-control study in 624 patients.

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Sjögren Syndrome Research Group (AGAUR), Laboratory of Autoimmune Diseases Josep Font, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, Department of Autoimmune Diseases, Barcelona, Spain.


We evaluated the prevalence and clinical significance of cardiovascular risk factors in a large series of patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (SS), focusing on the possible association with clinical and immunological SS features, the therapies administered, and the impact on cardiovascular disease. The study cohort included 312 patients fulfilling the 2002 classification criteria for primary SS, consecutively evaluated and followed in our department between 1984 and 2009. The control group consisted of 312 age- and sex-matched patients without systemic autoimmune diseases followed during the study period in a primary care centre. In comparison with the age- and sex-matched control group, patients with primary SS showed a higher frequency of diabetes mellitus (27% versus 13%, p < 0.001) and hypertriglyceridaemia (22% versus 15%, p = 0.023), and a lower frequency of hypertension (30% versus 46%, p < 0.001) and smoking (19% versus 31%, p < 0.001). The adjusted, multivariate analysis showed that SS patients with at least three cardiovascular risk factors had a higher mean age at SS diagnosis (p < 0.001), a higher frequency of liver involvement (p = 0.01) and central nervous system involvement (p = 0.001), higher mean levels of C-reactive protein (CRP, p = 0.001), a lower percentage of circulating gamma globulins (p = 0.001), and had received corticosteroids more frequently (p = 0.003) in comparison with patients without cardiovascular risk factors. Patients who had received corticosteroids showed a higher frequency of hypertension (37% versus 25%, p = 0.032), diabetes mellitus (37% versus 21%, p = 0.002), and hypertriglyceridaemia (33% versus 15%, p < 0.001). Patients with primary SS showed a twofold higher prevalence of diabetes mellitus and a 1.5-fold higher prevalence of hypertriglyceridaemia in comparison with primary care patients. Corticosteroid use was closely associated with cardiovascular risk factors. These results suggest that cardiovascular risk factors should be taken into account in the management of patients with primary SS and show the importance of recognizing and controlling both traditional and SS-related modifiable risk factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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