Protective Effects of Angiotensin II Interruption: Evidence for Antiinflammatory Actions

Nigel J. Dagenais, B.Sc.(Pharm.); Fakhreddin Jamali, Ph.D.


Pharmacotherapy. 2005;25(9):1213-1229. 

In This Article

Autoimmune and Cardiovascular Diseases

Immune-mediated inflammatory disorders encompass a wide range of diseases characterized by an excessive immune response and a dysfunctional cytokine environment.[3] Collectively, these inflammatory disorders may affect 5-7% or more of the population in the western world.[3,4,5] Although many immune-mediated inflammatory disorders are often restricted to a specific tissue or organ, several autoimmune conditions are considered systemic diseases and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. For example, patients with rheumatoid arthritis, one of the most common autoimmune diseases, experience mortality twice that of the general population due mainly to cardiovascular-related complications.[6,7,8]

Similarly, systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune condition that occurs essentially in women, is associated with nearly a 9-fold elevated risk of coronary artery disease in patients aged 18-44 years compared with the general population.[9] Furthermore, it has been proposed that the inflammatory condition of rheumatoid arthritis may itself contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.[3] This belief is supported by increasing evidence that atherosclerosis is, indeed, an inflammatory condition.[10,11,12]