Rheumatoid Arthritis and Cardiovascular Risk: Between Lights and Shadows

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The increased mortality rate for cardiovascular (CV) diseases in rheumatoid arthritis RA) patients has been mainly attributed to an increased prevalence of some classical CV risk factors in these patients. Nonetheless, the potential role of chronic inflammation itself as an independent CV risk factor has been recently emphasized. Indeed, different basic alterations present in RA may anticipate and/or accelerate the atherosclerotic process in these patients. However, results of clinical studies are conflicting. We therefore considered data of the more recently published meta-analyses aiming to perform a critical reappraisal in such a topic. Unfortunately, there is a significant heterogeneity among the trials, and the role of classical CV risk factors was not taken into account in several studies. Therefore, whether RA is an independent risk for CV diseases still remains unclear.

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