Premature subclinical atherosclerosis in children and young adults with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. A review considering preventive measures

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  • Anna-Helene Bohr
  • Robert C Fuhlbrigge
  • Freddy Karup Pedersen
  • Sarah D de Ferranti
  • Muller, Klaus

Many studies show that Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is associated with early subclinical signs of atherosclerosis. Chronic inflammation per se may be an important driver but other known risk factors, such as dyslipidemia, hypertension, insulin insensitivity, a physically inactive lifestyle, obesity, and tobacco smoking may also contribute substantially. We performed a systematic review of studies through the last 20 years on early signs of subclinical atherosclerosis in children and adolescents with JIA with the purpose of investigating whether possible risk factors, other than inflammation, were considered.We found 13 descriptive cross sectional studies with healthy controls, one intervention study and two studies on adults diagnosed with JIA. Only one study addressed obesity, and physical activity (PA) has only been assessed in one study on adults with JIA and only by self-reporting. This is important as studies on PA in children with JIA have shown that most patients are less physically active than their healthy peers, and as physical inactivity in several large studies of normal schoolchildren is found to be associated with increased clustering of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. It is thus possible that an inactive lifestyle in patients with JIA is an important contributor to development of the subclinical signs of atherosclerosis seen in children with JIA, and that promotion of an active lifestyle in childhood and adolescence may diminish the risk for premature atherosclerotic events in adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalPediatric Rheumatology
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2016

    Research areas

  • Arthritis, Juvenile, Atherosclerosis, Child, Global Health, Humans, Incidence, Motor Activity, Risk Factors, Young Adult, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Review

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