EULAR recommendations for cardiovascular risk management in Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases, including Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Antiphospholipid Syndrome

George C. Drosos, Daisy Vedder, Eline Houben, Laura Boekel, Fabiola Atzeni, Sara Badreh, Dimitrios T. Boumpas, Nina Brodin, Ian N. Bruce, Miguel Ángel González-Gay, Søren Jacobsen, György Kerekes, Francesca Marchiori, Chetan Mukhtyar, Manuel Ramos-Casals, Naveed Sattar, Karen Schreiber, Savino Sciascia, Elisabet Svenungsson, Zoltan SzekaneczAnne-Kathrin Tausche, Alan Tyndall, Vokko van Halm, Alexandre Voskuyl, Gary Macfarlane, Michael M. Ward, Michael T. Nurmohamed, Maria G. Tektonidou* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)
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Objective: To develop recommendations for cardiovascular risk (CVR) management in gout, vasculitis, systemic sclerosis (SSc), myositis, mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD), Sjögren’s syndrome (SS), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS).
 Methods: Following European League against Rheumatism (EULAR) standardised procedures, a multidisciplinary task force formulated recommendations for CVR prediction and management based on systematic literature reviews and expert opinion.

Results: Four overarching principles emphasising the need of regular screening and management of modifiable CVR factors and patient education were endorsed. Nineteen recommendations (eleven for gout, vasculitis, SSc, MCTD, myositis, SS; eight for SLE, APS) were developed covering three topics: (1) CVR prediction tools; (2) interventions on traditional CVR factors and (3) interventions on disease-related CVR factors. Several statements relied on expert opinion because high-quality evidence was lacking. Use of generic CVR prediction tools is recommended due to lack of validated rheumatic diseases-specific tools. Diuretics should be avoided in gout and beta-blockers in SSc, and a blood pressure target <130/80 mm Hg should be considered in SLE. Lipid management should follow general population guidelines, and antiplatelet use in SLE, APS and large-vessel vasculitis should follow prior EULAR recommendations. A serum uric acid level <0.36 mmol/L (<6 mg/dL) in gout, and disease activity control and glucocorticoid dose minimisation in SLE and vasculitis, are recommended. Hydroxychloroquine is recommended in SLE because it may also reduce CVR, while no particular immunosuppressive treatment in SLE or urate lowering therapy in gout has been associated with CVR lowering.

Conclusion: These recommendations can guide clinical practice and future research for improving CVR management in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-779
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Early online date2 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgements: The committee wishes to acknowledge the support of the EULAR Standing Committee on Clinical Affairs and the EULAR Secretariat.
Funding: This study was funded by European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology, EULAR. Project number: CLI112

Data Availability Statement

Additional supplemental material is published online only. To view, please visit the journal online (

Supplementary Data
This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.


  • Recommendations
  • cardiovascular disease
  • rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease
  • traditional cardiovascular risk factors
  • disease-related risk factors


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