Dyslipidaemia in Rheumatological Autoimmune Diseases

Tracey E Toms1, Vasileios F Panoulas1, George D Kitas1, 2, *
1 Department of Rheumatology, Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust, Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, West Midlands, UK
2 arc Epidemiology Unit, Manchester University, Manchester, UK

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© Toms et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Rheumatology, Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust, Russells Hall Hospital, Pensnett Road, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 2HQ, United Kingdom; Tel: +44-1384-244842; Fax: +44-1384-244808; E-mail: or


Autoimmunity forms the basis of many rheumatological diseases, and may contribute not only to the classical clinical manifestations but also to the complications. Many of the autoimmune rheumatological diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus are associated with an excess cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Much of this excess cardiovascular risk can be attributed to atherosclerotic disease. Atherosclerosis is a complex pathological process, with dyslipidaemia and inflammation fundamental to all stages of plaque evolution. The heightened inflammatory state seen in conjunction with many rheumatological diseases may accelerate plaque formation, both through direct effects on the arterial wall and indirectly through inflammation-mediated alterations in the lipid profile. Alongside these factors, antibodies produced as part of the autoimmune nature of these conditions may lead to alterations in the lipid profile and promote atherosclerosis. In this review, we discuss the association between several of the rheumatological autoimmune diseases and dyslipidaemia, and the potential cardiovascular impact this may confer.

Keywords: Autoimmune disease, dyslipidaemia, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, primary sjogrens syndrome, anti-phospholipid syndrome..