Systemic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders in women

Systemic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis break down the protective coatings on vessels. Both the conditions themselves and some of their treatments can affect heart and brain health. These disorders are significantly more prevalent in women. In fact, women represent 80% of the total population affected.

These conditions may lead to high blood pressure, increased plaque in arteries, and high cholesterol – all risk factors for heart conditions and stroke. Depression is common in women with these conditions and depression itself affects heart and brain health.

The effects of systemic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders lead to premature development of heart conditions and stroke and greatly affect quality of life. People affected by these conditions require good coordination of care across specialists and ongoing support to manage these complex conditions.