Abdominal adipose tissue predicts major cardiovascular events in systemic necrotising vasculitides.


Université Paris Descartes, Faculté de Médecine Paris Descartes; Department of Internal Medicine, Hôpital Cochin, Paris; National Referral Centre for Systemic and Autoimmune Diseases, Hôpital Cochin, Paris, France. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Cardiovascular (CV) events are highly prevalent in systemic necrotising vasculitides (SNV). Visceral/subcutaneous adipose tissue (VAT/SAT) ratio has been shown to be associated with CV events in various diseases. We aimed to assess the relevance of abdominal adipose tissue measurement to predict major CV events (MCVEs) in SNV.
METHODS : Patients with SNV were successively included in a longitudinal study assessing MCVEs and other sequelae. Dual x-ray absorptiometry was performed to evaluate abdominal adipose tissue. Patients were prospectively followed for MCVEs, defined as myocardial infarction, unstable angina, stroke, arterial revascularisation and/or hospitalisation for or death from CV causes.
RESULTS : One hundred and twenty consecutive SNV patients were included and analysed (54 males, mean age 53±18 years). High CV risk was found in 28 (23.3%) patients. In univariate analysis, age, male gender, VDI, VAT/SAT ratio and serum troponin level were significantly associated with high CV risk, whereas age and VAT/SAT ratio remained independently associated with high CV risk. Variables associated with high tertile of VAT/SAT ratio included age and metabolic risk factors. After median follow-up of 42 months, 19 (16%) patients experienced MCVEs. Hazard ratios for incident MCVEs compared with 1st tertile of VAT/SAT ratio were 7.22 (1.02-51.3; p=0.048) and 9.90 (3.15-31.2; p=0.0002) in the 2nd and 3rd tertile, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS : Abdominal visceral adipose tissue is a reliable surrogate marker of CV risk and predicts incident MCVEs in SNV patients. Abdominal adipose tissue should be probably evaluated routinely in these patients to assess CV risk.

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