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Sjögren's Syndrome significantly increases risk of heart attack
Date:6/13/2014

A new study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2014) showed a significantly increased risk of heart attack in patients with Sjgren's syndrome (SjS), particularly in the first year following diagnosis. There was also a trend towards an increased risk for stroke.

SjS is an auto-immune inflammatory disease where the body's immune system attacks glands that secrete fluid, such as the tear and saliva glands.2 Inflammation within the glands reduces fluid production causing painful burning in the eyes, dry mouth, and sometimes dryness in the nasal passages, throat, vagina and skin. Primary SjS occurs in people with no other rheumatological disease; secondary SjS occurs in people who have another rheumatological disease, most often systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The worldwide prevalence of primary SjS has been estimated at about 0.2% of the adult population, and is thought to affect at least nine times as many women as men.3 Estimates of the prevalence of SjS in patients with RA and SLE vary from 30% and 110% respectively.

According to the principal investigator of the study, Dr. Antonio Avia-Zubieta, a research scientist at the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada and an Assistant Professor of the Department of Medicine - Division of Rheumatology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, "it is the acute inflammatory state in Sjgren's syndrome, particularly at the onset of the disease, which is likely to be the main driver for the increased risk of heart attacks and stroke.

"This is the first general population-based cohort study comparing the relative risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients with new Sjgren's syndrome with age, sex, and entry-matched controls; previously we only had limited data on the relative risks in this specific patient group.

"Our results support the role of inflammation in cardiovascular disease and the need for in
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Contact: EULAR Press Office
eularpressoffice@cohnwolfe.com
44-078-801-73209
European League Against Rheumatism
Source:Eurekalert

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