Study Finds that ANCA Vasculitis Patients are at Greater Risk for Thyroid Problems

According to a story from ANCA Vasculitis News, a recent study conducted in Korea determined that ANCA vasculitis patients in the region were at a greater risk of developing thyroid issues in comparison to the general population. The study found that this risk was most significant in patients that had ANCA antibodies, were older in age, and had kidney involvement when they were diagnosed. It is unclear if this risk is true for ANCA vasculitis patients worldwide.

About ANCA Vasculitis

ANCA vasculitis is a disease that is characterized by the damage and destruction of blood vessels as a result of inflammatory activity. The disease is associated with the presence of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA). These are autoantibodies that target antigens present on neutrophils (the most common type of white blood cell) and monocytes. This means that the mechanism of the disease is autoimmune, in which the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks healthy body tissue. Symptoms of ANCA vasculitis include kidney inflammation, fever, weight loss, abdominal pain, bloody stools, purpura, nose bleeds, muscle pain, arthritis, bloody cough, vision problems, headaches, stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure. Treatment of the disease is primarily focused on controlling inflammation and suppressing immune system activity. Common medications include cyclophosphamide, rituximab, and prednisone. Antibiotics may be necessary in cases of infection. To learn more about ANCA vasculitis, click here.

About The Study

The study looked at medical records from a time span of October 2000 to July of 2018. These records included data from 186 patients with ANCA vasculitis. From this group, the researchers determined that 14.5 percent of patients (27 in total) had thyroid dysfunction of some kind. Seven of these patients had thyroid issues before they had been diagnosed.

The scientists also found that ANCA vasculitis patients with thyroid problems were also at a greater risk of developing heart disease or kidney disease in comparison to patients with normal thyroid function. Clearly, more research should be conducted to improve the understanding of the connection between the disease and thyroid dysfunction.

The original study was first published in the scientific journal The Journal of Rheumatology. Check it out for yourself here.

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