Ankylosing Spondylitis Linked to Cardiovascular Mortality

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is the latest inflammatory arthritis to be associated with increased risk for vascular mortality. The nearly 50% increase in risk is so significant that experts call for comprehensive screening and treatment of modifiable risk factors in all patients with AS.

Nisha Nigil Haroon, MD, DM, DNB, from Toronto Western Hospital, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues published the population-based retrospective cohort study online August 11 in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Senior author Nigil Haroon, MD, PhD, DM, assistant professor of rheumatology and medicine, University of Toronto, and clinician scientist and staff rheumatologist, Toronto Western Hospital, told Medscape Medical News that the major clinical implication of the study is that patients with AS should be screened and closely monitored for the prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of cardiac and coronary events.

“Recent evidence suggests that patients with AS have increased risk of vascular disease such as coronary heart disease. Our study not only strengthens this data but also provides new information that mortality after a vascular event is higher in AS patients. Further, our results suggest that vascular mortality is directly linked to AS (as comorbidities were controlled for),” Dr Haroon said.

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