Autoimmune heart disease: Role of sex hormones and autoantibodies in disease pathogenesis

Delisa Fairweather, Michelle A. Petri, Michael J. Coronado, Leslie T. Cooperr

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and autoimmune diseases (ADs) are the first and third highest causes of death in the USA, respectively. Men have an increased incidence of the majority of CVDs, including atherosclerosis, myocarditis, dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure. By contrast, nearly 80% of all ADs occur in women. However, in one category of ADs, rheumatic diseases, CVD is the main cause of death. Factors that link rheumatic ADs to CVD are inflammation and the presence of autoantibodies. In this review we will examine recent findings regarding sex differences in the immunopathogenesis of CVD and ADs, explore possible reasons for the increased occurrence of CVD within rheumatic ADs and discuss whether autoantibodies, including rheumatoid factor, could be involved in disease pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-284
Number of pages16
JournalExpert review of clinical immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • autoimmune disease
  • cardiovascular disease
  • pathogenesis
  • rheumatic disease
  • sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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