Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Autoantibodies could be a warning sign for cardiovascular disease in people with rheumatoid arthritis

Date:
November 11, 2012
Source:
American College of Rheumatology (ACR)
Summary:
The presence of autoantibodies in the blood may be connected to a higher risk of the development of cardiovascular disease, not just in individuals with diagnosed autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, but in the general population, according to new research findings.

The presence of autoantibodies in the blood may be connected to a higher risk of the development of cardiovascular disease, not just in individuals with diagnosed autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, but in the general population, according to new research findings presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling, limitation of motion and loss of function of multiple joints. Though joints are the principal areas affected by RA, inflammation can develop in other organs as well. An estimated 1.3 million Americans have RA, and the disease typically affects women twice as often as men.

Researchers based at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Ill., looked at the possible connections between the presence of autoantibodies in people with RA and their higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Although scientists have established the higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease in people with RA, the exact mechanism is still unknown, says Darcy S. Majka, MD, lead investigator of the study and assistant professor of medicine and preventive medicine at Northwestern.

"There are still a lot of mysteries as to the etiology of the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in rheumatoid arthritis," says Dr. Majka. "We also know that individuals with rheumatoid arthritis have detectable autoantibodies in their blood prior to the onset of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. This indicates that the autoimmune process starts before the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis occur."

Dr. Majka and her colleagues sought to learn more about the connections between autoimmunity, defined in this study by the presence of autoantibodies, and the risk of cardiovascular disease. They examined data collected in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a multi-center (called MESA), population-based study of cardiovascular disease risk factor and outcomes in more than 6,800 people of various racial and ethnic backgrounds. In MESA, levels of the RA-related autoantibodies rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide were measured in the stored serum of 6,557 MESA participants who also had coronary artery calcium measured by CT scanning. These participants were followed by the MESA study for an average of 7.1 years to track their development of coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease events like heart attacks.

Findings showed that at baseline 12.2 percent of the MESA study participants had coronary artery calcium levels greater than or equal to 300. In addition, after 7.1 years, 3 percent developed serious coronary heart disease outcomes like myocardial infarction, resuscitated cardiac arrest or even death due to coronary heart disease. When stroke or death from stroke were taken into account along with coronary heart disease, 4.8 percent of the MESA participants had events.

Having a positive rheumatoid factor or anti-CCP-2 was associated with twice the odds of having a high coronary artery calcium score in both African-American and Caucasian women. African-American women with positive autoantibodies also had greater than twice the risk of having clinical cardiovascular disease events. There were no associations between autoantibody production and coronary artery score or clinical CVD events in Hispanics or Chinese participants. It is still unclear why these disparities exist, Dr. Majka says.

By analyzing data from such a large, comprehensive population, the researchers believe they taken a significant step in better understanding how autoimmunity may be involved in the development of cardiovascular disease in both individuals with RA and even in the general population.

"This study indicates that autoimmunity might be associated with both clinical and subclinical atherosclerosis in the general population," Dr. Majka concludes. "While it would be far too premature to suggest that we should be checking for RA-related autoantibodies in everyone, they might be one potential novel biomarker for cardiovascular disease development."

Funding sources for this study included the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases all part of the National Institutes of Health; and the Arthritis Foundation Arthritis Investigator Award.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American College of Rheumatology (ACR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American College of Rheumatology (ACR). "Autoantibodies could be a warning sign for cardiovascular disease in people with rheumatoid arthritis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121111153522.htm>.
American College of Rheumatology (ACR). (2012, November 11). Autoantibodies could be a warning sign for cardiovascular disease in people with rheumatoid arthritis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121111153522.htm
American College of Rheumatology (ACR). "Autoantibodies could be a warning sign for cardiovascular disease in people with rheumatoid arthritis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121111153522.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins