The project is the result of a collaboration between the Sjaastad group and the group of Helga Sanner at the Department of Rheumatology at OUS, Rikshospitalet.
Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) is a rarer autoimmune disease with childhood onset. It is characterised by a distinct rash and proximal muscular weakness, however, also pulmonary and cardiac dysfunction is found. Another frequent consequence to JDM is altered adipose tissue distribution with the presence of lipodystrophy and an increase in total fat mass, especially abdominal adiposity.
We found that adult patients with JDM had more visceral adipose tissue, and more frequent metabolic syndrome and cardiac dysfunction compared with controls. In these patients, increased visceral adipose tissue correlated with disease duration and occurrence of the metabolic syndrome and cardiac dysfunction, which was not seen in the controls. Also, cardiac dysfunction was associated with male sex and lipodystrophy. The findings suggest that unfavourable adipose tissue distribution might be a consequence of the disease and a promoter of cardio-metabolic syndrome in JDM.