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Antibodies against human 60 kDa heat shock protein are not associated with cardiovascular disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
  1. V P van Halm1,
  2. M C Slot2,
  3. M T Nurmohamed3,
  4. J W Cohen Tervaert2,
  5. B A C Dijkmans1,
  6. A E Voskuyl1
  1. 1Department of Rheumatology, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Clinical and Experimental Immunology, University Hospital Maastricht, Maastricht, Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Rheumatology, Jan van Breemen Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Alexandre E Voskuyl
    Department of Rheumatology, room 4A-42, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam 1007 MB, Netherlands; ae.voskuyl{at}vumc.nl

Abstract

Background: Rheumatoid arthritis is associated with an unexplained increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Antibodies against human 60 kDa heat shock protein (anti-HSP60) are associated with the presence and severity of CVD.

Objectives: To investigate whether anti-HSP60 antibodies are associated with prevalent CVD in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Methods: In a nested case–control design, anti-HSP60 antibody levels were measured in the serum samples of 192 rheumatoid patients. In a regression analysis the association between prevalent CVD and anti-HSP60 antibodies was examined, along with the possible influence on this association of several demographic, rheumatoid arthritis, and CVD related variables.

Results: In a random sample of 326 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 48 cases were identified who also suffered from CVD. Three controls per case with rheumatoid arthritis but without CVD (n = 144) were matched for sex, age, disease duration, and smoking habits. A regression analysis showed no significant association between prevalent CVD and anti-HSP60 antibodies (odds ratio = 1.00 (95% confidence interval, 0.997 to 1.004)). After correcting for possible confounding variables, still no association was found.

Conclusions: In contrast to the general population, anti-HSP60 antibody titres are not associated with prevalent CVD in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. These findings could be the result of an altered immune response to HSP60 in rheumatoid arthritis.

  • CVD, cardiovascular disease
  • HDLc, high density lipoprotein cholesterol
  • HSP, heat shock protein
  • LDLc, low density lipoprotein cholesterol
  • ROC, receiver operating characteristic
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • cardiovascular disease
  • heat shock protein 60 antibodies

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Footnotes

  • Published Online First 25 October 2005

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