Sjögren’s syndrome is a rheumatic autoimmune disease that primarily affects middle-aged women and runs a slowly progressing course with sicca symptoms being the prevalent manifestation. Premature atherosclerosis and increased cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality are frequently encountered in rheumatic diseases characterized by significant systemic inflammation, such as the inflammatory arthritides, systemic vasculitides and systemic lupus erythematosus. In the same context, chronic inflammation and immune aberrations underlying Sjögren’s syndrome are also reported to be associated with augmented risk of atherosclerosis. Increased CV disease (CVD) frequency has been found in recent meta-analyses. The involvement of the CV system is not a common feature of Sjögren’s syndrome; however, specific manifestations, such as autoantibody-mediated heart block, pericarditis, pulmonary arterial hypertension and dysautonomia, have been described. This review focuses on studies addressing CV morbidity in Sjögren’s syndrome and presents current data regarding distinct CV features of the disease.
Keywords: Sjögren’s syndrome, cardiovascular morbidity, atherosclerosis, echocardiography, anti-Ro antibodies, heart block, dysautonomia.