Background CVD is a major cause of death among patients with PM or DM. Still, data on prevalence and types of cardiovascular involvement and corresponding risk factors are limited and no systematic studies of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis have been performed in adults with PM or DM.
Objectives Our purpose was to determine the distribution of traditional CVD risk factors and to assess CAC in adults with PM or DM.
Methods In a cross-sectional, observational study of 76 prevalent patients with PM (n=51) or DM (n=25) clinical and immunological variables and the following traditional CVD risk factors were assessed: age, sex, CVD family history, smoking (current, former or never), body mass index (BMI), blood pressure (BP), total cholesterol (TC), LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), and mean blood glucose (mBG) calculated from HbA1c. Further, CAC were quantified by means of non-contrast enhanced cardiac CT scan and reported as a CAC score with the following ranges; no calcifications (CAC score =0 U); low CAC score (1-399 U); or high CAC score (≥400 U). High CAC score is consistent with severe coronary atherosclerosis.
Results The mean age of the patients was 60 years (range 33-85) and 65% were women. A CVD family history was reported in 20% of the patients and 25% were current smokers; 28% were former smokers. Overweight (25≤BMI<30) was observed in 23 (30%) whereas 33 (43%) were obese (BMI>30). High systolic blood pressure (>140 mmHg) was observed in 35 (47%); 54 (74%) had high TC (>4.95 mmol/L), and 41 (59%) high LDL-C as well. mBG was increased (>6.95 mmol/L) in 16 (21%) patients. A CAC score >0 was noticed in 46 (61%) of whom 15 (20%) had a high score.
Conclusions We report that a significant proportion of patients with PM or DM have a high burden of CVD risk factors and evidence of clinically significant calcium deposits in their coronary arteries. Several chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases are associated with accelerated atherosclerosis, which may also apply to PM/DM. To what extent the increased CAC score is related to disease severity, the burden of CVD risk factors, prednisolone treatment or combinations hereof cannot be decided from this cross-sectional study. However, these preliminary data indicate that a prospective assessment of the CV system is warranted in PM and DM.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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