Objectives: Several chronic inflammatory diseases are associated with cardiovascular disease, but the risk in ANCA-associated vasculitis is poorly quantified. The aim of the present study was to review the evidence for an increased cardiovascular risk, including ischaemic heart disease, cerebrovascular accidents and peripheral arterial disease, in patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis.
Methods: A comprehensive systematic review was conducted in accordance with guidelines of preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The databases PubMed, Embase.com and the Cochrane Library (Wiley) were searched for original observational studies comparing vasculitis patients with at least one control group. Summary estimates were derived with a random-effects model and reported as relative risks.
Results: One thousand three hundred and seventy-five studies were identified. Seven studies were included, comprising almost 14 000 ANCA-associated vasculitis patients vs general population controls in six studies and chronic kidney disease patients in one study. ANCA-associated vasculitis carried a relative risk of 1.65 (95% CI: 1.23, 2.22) for all cardiovascular events, 1.60 (95% CI: 1.39, 1.84) for ischaemic heart disease and 1.20 (95% CI: 0.98, 1.48) for cerebrovascular accidents. We did not find studies that addressed the risk for peripheral arterial disease separately. No heterogeneity was seen in the estimates.
Conclusion: This meta-analysis of observational studies supports an increase in cardiovascular risk in patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis of ∼65%, similar to that found in other chronic inflammatory diseases. Hence, there is a clear need for active cardiovascular risk management in patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis.