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Predictors of cardiovascular events in patients with primary systemic vasculitis: A 5 years prospective observational study

      Abstract

      Introduction

      : Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) is one of antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA) – associated systemic vasculitis and is characterised by inflammation of blood vessels. Systemic vasculitis exhibits an enhanced cardiovascular morbidity and cardiovascular disease (CVD) has become a leading cause of death in this group of patients.

      Objectives

      : The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of clinical manifestation of atherosclerosis and its relation with classic risk factors for atherosclerosis, echocardiographic parameters and laboratory findings in GPA patients.

      Patients and methods

      : The group of consecutive patients with GPA were followed in the study.

      Results

      : One hundred six patients with GPA (mean age 50.4 ± 14.9 yrs, 67 female) were prospectively followed for 5.1 ± 1.6 yrs. In 19 patients (18%) cardiovascular disease (9 acute coronary syndromes, 4 symptomatic peripheral vascular diseases and 6 strokes) occurred in association with GPA. In a multivariate model, only age was predictive of cardiovascular events in this group of patients (OR=1.078, 95% CI: 1.025–1.134, p = 0.003). During observation in patients without CVD the level of hs-CRP and D-dimer were significantly reduced on the follow-up visit (p = 0.041, p = 0.0002). On the other hand, in patients with CV events there was no significant differences in both markers’ concentrations despite clinical remission.

      Conclusions

      : The age was the only independent predictor of cardiovascular events. Persistent elevation of inflammatory and prothrombotic markers despite clinical remission of the disease could be an indicator of premature atherosclerosis development in patients with systemic vasculitis.

      Key words

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