Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 60,
October 2009 Abstract Supplement

The 2009 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting
Philadelphia October 16-21, 2009.

Atherosclerosis in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis in Stockholm, Sweden

Nordin,  Annica, Bjornadal,  Lena, Jensen-Urstad,  Kerstin, Svenungsson,  Elisabet


Previous studies demonstrate that several systemic autoimmune diseases are associated with an increased prevalence of atherosclerosis. Besides traditional risk factors, systemic inflammation seems to be an important factor for atherosclerosis in these patients. We compared atherosclerosis and its risk factors in patients with Systemic Sclerosis and controls.


81 consecutive patients (62,4 ± 12,6 years) who fulfilled the American College of Rheumatology criteria for Systemic Sclerosis(SSc) and 80 population-based controls (62,2 ± 12,8 years) matched for sex, age and region of living participated. As a surrogate measure for atherosclerosis we studied the frequency of plaque and the mean IMT (intima media thickness), measured by B-mode ultrasound. Traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease and biomarkers of systemic inflammation were measured.


Plaques were found in 49,5% of the patients and in 41% of the controls. Mean IMT was 0,69 mm ± 0,11 in patients and 0,69 mm ± 0,14 in controls. Neither plaque occurrence nor IMT differed significantly. The patient with SSc were more likely to be current or former smoker than controls (54% vs. 35%, p <0,001). The patients had more systemic inflammation than controls: Sedimentation Rate 17,6 ± 13,5 mm vs 11,8 ± 6,7mm (p<0,05), hsCRP 3,6 ± 4,5 mg/l vs 2,5± 2,8 mg/l (p=0,05), alpha-1-antitrypsin 1,6 ± 0,35 g/l vs 1,4 ± 0,2 g/l (<0,001) and orosomucoid 0,83± 0,16 g/l vs 0,75 ± 0,17 g/l (p<0,01). The patients BMI was lower than controls 24,4 ± 3,3 kg/m2 vs 26,1± 3,8 kg/m2(p<0,05).

Lipid levels, blood-pressure, blood glucose or waist hip-ratio did not differ between patients and controls.

In multivariable-adjusted logistic regression models (including age, systolic blood pressure BMI, cholesterol, triglycerides (TG), smoking and hsCRP), independent predictors of plaque among patients was age (p=0.007) and TG(p=0,04) and among controls age(p<0,0001) and smoking (p<0,02).


Atherosclerosis was not more prevalent in SSc patients than in population-based controls. Smoking and markers of inflammation were more common in patients.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Nordin, Annica, Bjornadal, Lena, Jensen-Urstad, Kerstin, Svenungsson, Elisabet; Atherosclerosis in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis in Stockholm, Sweden [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2009;60 Suppl 10 :454
DOI: 10.1002/art.25536

Abstract Supplement

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