Although each autoimmune disease is associated with specific tissue or organ damage, rheumatic diseases share a pro-inflammatory pattern that might increase cardiovascular risk. Retrospective and prospective studies on patients affected by SLE and RA highlighted the concept of “accelerated atherosclerosis”. Therefore, the purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis is the assessment of symptomatic or asymptomatic cardiovascular events among patients with rheumatic diseases as RA and SLE. The literature research obtained all manuscripts published in the English language between 2015 and 2019 for a total of 2355 manuscripts. After selection through inclusion and exclusion criteria, four articles examined cardiovascular risk in RA patients, 8 in SLE patients, and 2 in RA and SLE patients. Patients with SLE had a RR of 1.98 (95% CI: 1.18-3.31) of symptomatic cardiovascular events compared to the unexposed cohort. The meta-regression analysis showed that younger patient (age per year increase β = -0.12 95%CI: -0.20, -0.4), belonging to studies conducted in continent different from America (β = -0.89; -95% CI: 1.67, -0.10), after 2000 (β = 0.87; 95% CI: 0.09, 1.65) and with a higher quality score 0.80 (95% CI: 0.31, 1.29) had a higher risk of cardiovascular events. In patients with RA, the RR of cardiovascular events was 1.55 (95% CI: 1.18-2.02). These data are helpful to implement cardiovascular preventive strategies among people suffering from rheumatologic diseases to decrease the incidence of CV events. However, these implementation needs to build a higher network between rheumatologists and primary care healthcare workers to furnish the same information to patients and monitor their preventive practice compliance.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.