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Open Access Autoimmune Diseases and Atherosclerosis: The Inflammatory Connection

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Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that contributes to majority of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in the world. Immune system is involved in atherogenesis and disease pathogenesis. Several studies have suggested a pivotal role for immune response to autoantigens, particularly oxidized lipoproteins and heat shock proteins, in the development of the disease. Several autoimmune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, diabetes type1, multiple sclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have an increased association with atherosclerosis leading to higher cardiovascular mortality rates. Inflammation is a crucial link in the development of atherosclerosis and autoimmune disorders. Immune dysregulation in autoimmune diseases could contribute to the increased risk of atherosclerosis in these patients. Thus, immune modulation and anti-inflammatory treatments may help control the development of atherosclerosis in autoimmune disorders.
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Keywords: Atherosclerosis; autoimmune diseases; immune response; inflammation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2012

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  • Current Immunology Reviews publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances in clinical immunology. The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles dedicated to clinical research in the field. The journal is essential reading for all researchers and clinicians in clinical immunology.
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