Lipid abnormalities can exist in patients with rheumatic diseases. Many mechanisms give rise to these abnormalities and include treatment with corticosteroids and upregulation of certain cytokines in active rheumatic disease. Premature atherosclerosis can occur in these patients with significant morbidity and mortality. Greater awareness and earlier treatment of these lipid problems may lead to better outcomes.
The relationship between lipid disorders and arthritis is manifold. Hyperlipidaemia may manifest clinically in the musculoskeletal system. In 1968, Khachadurian studied 14 families of whom 18 homozygotes of Type II hyperlipidaemia were identified. Ten of these patients experienced a migratory polyarthritis resembling rheumatic fever.
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