Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), is a term used to describe a group of inflammatory disorders beginning before the age of 16 years. Although for the majority of children remission is achieved early, those with systemic or polyarticular form of the disease may present persistent symptoms in adulthood. Considering that there is overlap in the pathogenesis of JIA with adult rheumatic diseases, concerns have been raised as to whether JIA patients could be at increased cardiovascular (CV) risk in the long-term. In this review, we summarize evidence for CV involvement in JIA and present data on CV risk factors and surrogate markers of arterial disease. We also provide information on beneficial and harmful CV effects of anti-inflammatory medications in the context of JIA and suggest strategies for CV screening. Overall, patients with systemic forms of JIA demonstrate an adverse lipid profile and early arterial changes relevant to accelerated arterial disease progression. Although there is paucity of data on CV outcomes, we recommend a holistic approach in the management of JIA patients, which includes CV risk factor monitoring and lifestyle modification as well as use, when necessary, of antiinflammatory therapies with documented CV safety.
Keywords: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, cardiovascular, surrogate markers, outcomes, disease, inflammatory.