Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease. Cardiovascular events are the most important cause of mortality and morbidity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Beyond the traditional cardiovascular risk factors, chronic systemic inflammation has been shown to be a crucial factor in atherosclerosis development and progression from endothelial dysfunction to plaque rupture and thrombosis. Many studies have shown that atherosclerosis is not a passive event like accumulation of lipids in the vessel walls; by contrast, it represents an active inflammation of the vessels. Inflammatory cells such as macrophages, monocytes and T cells play important roles in the development of both rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis. In this article we analyse the relationships between rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis.