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Biologics and the Cardiovascular System: A Double-Edged Sword

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Patients with chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis have a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and related mortality compared to the general population. This risk is first due to classical cardiovascular risk factors but also due to systemic inflammation which is independently involved, causing accelerated atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular disease and heart failure (HF). Pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin (IL)-1 and IL-6 could be major actors on this pathophysiology. Biologics are effective specific treatments in the management of inflammatory rheumatic and systemic diseases. In this review, beneficial and deleterious effects on the heart and vessels of the biologics used in the management of inflammatory arthritis and vasculitides will be discussed, focusing on TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-1 blockades, and anti-CD20. Noninflammatory cardiac conditions, such as heart failure, myocardial infarction, and cardiovascular conditions such as atherosclerosis, as well as inflammatory diseases including vasculitides will be discussed.
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Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; IL-1; IL-6; TNF-alpha; atherosclerosis; biologics; cytokines; heart failure; inflammation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-03-01

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  • Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Allergy Agents in Medicinal Chemistry aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design for the discovery of new Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Allergy Agents.

    Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics in Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Allergy Medicinal Chemistry.

    Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Allergy Agents in Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments in Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Allergy Agents drug discovery.
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