To evaluate the frequency of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD risk factor development in adult patients previously diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
A cohort study was conducted utilizing patients at two academic institutions (cohorts 1 and 2). Each institution evaluated the common endpoint of CVD outcomes and CVD risk factor development in adults aged = 30 years and at the 29-year follow-up from disease onset in cohorts 1 and 2, respectively, with comparison to control groups of similar age and sex.
Cohort 1 included 41 patients with JIA and follow-up = 30 years of age with comparison to 41 controls. Three patients (7%) had CVD, compared to one control (2%; p = 0.31). Cohort 2 included 170 patients with JIA and a median of 29 years of follow-up from disease onset with comparison to 91 controls. Two patients (2%) had CVD, compared to none of the controls (p = 0.29). The presence of CVD risk factors was found to be increased in the JIA group compared to the controls in three categories: family history of CVD (cohort 1), hypertension (cohort 2), and ever smokers (cohorts 2).
There is no increase in CVD events in patients with JIA 29 years following disease onset when compared to the general population. As these cohorts age, it will be informative to evaluate whether this baseline risk remains present or a trend towards increasing CVD emerges. Continued longitudinal follow-up of these cohorts and larger population-based studies are needed to establish a definitive relationship between JIA and CVD.
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