Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have an increased prevalence of coronary heart disease and a high cardiovascular mortality rate. The causes of increased coronary heart disease in RA patients are poorly understood. Conventional cardiovascular risk factors, such as inactivity, overweight or dyslipidemia may play a role, but they do not seem to be wholly responsible for the increased cardiovascular risk. RA is associated with a high incidence of inflammation and vascular endothelial injuries. Endothelial dysfunction is one of the key steps in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis in non-RA patients. Therefore, we hypothesized that inflammation-induced vascular endothelial injuries may be responsible for the increased risk of coronary heart disease and high rates of cardiovascular mortality in patients with RA.