I read an interesting post from last year that unfortunately is closed, so I'll throw out this question and hope for feedback on it.
Does anyone know of a correlation between heart problems and Sjogren's? The reason I ask is that I was born with a ventricular septal defect, which is a fancy way of saying a great big hole between the lower 2 chambers of my heart. These defects sometimes spontaneously heal, but after multiple trips to the ER with a very blue baby, I think my parents convinced the doctors that I could benefit from medical intervention if I wished to reach toddler-hood. At 4 1/2 years of age I underwent open heart surgery, a very maverick procedure in 1967, done by a specially trained team from the Mayo clinic, no less! (Don't I feel special!) Despite being told I had a 75 % chance of dying from the operation, I pulled through strong and stubborn. In fact, my heart is in phenomenal shape, and should stop ticking when about 110 years old, my cardiologist tells me. I am an avid cyclist and I also love hiking/walking and generally keeping fit, so I guess this has helped my cardiovascular health.
The reason I ask about the SS link is because my mother nearly died of Grave's Disease when she was in her mid thirties. I am well aware of the close association between that thyroid disease and Sjogren's as they are both caused by the same rogue anti-body. I am wondering if the heart disease I was born with may have been a foreshadowing of further trouble to come for me. I realize that auto-immune disease is thought to have a mitochondrial association, and this is passed down only via the mother's genetics. I wonder if this whole mess is actually my mother's fault! Any thoughts from anyone about this? Just curious...