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Inflammation and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: A Case Study of HIV and Inflammatory Joint Disease

Published:December 18, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2017.11.034

      Abstract

      The epidemiologic data associating infection and inflammation with increased risk of cardiovascular disease is well established. Patients with chronically upregulated inflammatory pathways, such as those with HIV and inflammatory joint diseases, often have a risk of future cardiovascular risk that is similar to or higher than patients with diabetes. Thus, it is of heightened importance for clinicians to consider the cardiovascular risk of patients with these conditions. HIV and inflammatory joint diseases are archetypal examples of how inflammatory disorders contribute to vascular disease and provide illustrative lessons that can be leveraged in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Managing chronic inflammatory diseases calls for a multifaceted approach to evaluation and treatment of suboptimal lifestyle habits, accurate estimation of cardiovascular disease risk with potential upwards recalibration due to chronic inflammation, and more intensive treatment of risk factors because current tools often underestimate the risk in this population. This approach is further supported by the recently published CANTOS trial demonstrating that reducing inflammation can serve as a therapeutic target among persons with residual inflammatory risk for cardiovascular disease.

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