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Approved Research

Exploring the associations between autoimmune rheumatic diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

Principal Investigator: Dr Xiaohui Sun
Approved Research ID: 71610
Approval date: June 18th 2021

Lay summary

Cardiovascular diseases are the top causes of death in the world. The patients with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, were found to have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases compared with the general population. However, the influence of shared genetics and biology in both diseases remain incompletely understood. This project aims to explore the potential causal relationships between autoimmune disease and cardiovascular diseases.

We will perform statistical analysis to investigate the association between autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular diseases by using the large cohort data in UK Biobank. Moreover, we will examine whether autoimmune rheumatic diseases interact with other risk factors (e.g. lifestyle, dietary factors) on the development of cardiometabolic disease. To circumvent some of the limitations of conventional epidemiological analyses, we will also complement these analyses by Mendelian randomization analysis, in which genetic variants will be used instead of the described exposure variables. The purpose of this project is to better understand the association between autoimmune rheumatic diseases and cardiovascular diseases. The knowledge will provide novel insights into the identification of potential therapeutic targets for these diseases.