February 11, 2010
Low levels of physical activity were associated with increased subclinical atherosclerosis in women with systemic lupus erythematosus, a cross-sectional study found.
Analysis of data from patients who underwent carotid ultrasound and answered detailed questionnaires about their exercise habits revealed a negative correlation between mean intima-media thickness and physical activity (r=−0.14, P=0.03), according to Elizabeth R. Volkmann, MD, of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues.
There was a similar negative correlation between the number of carotid plaques and physical activity (r=−0.14, P=0.04), the researchers reported in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
Patients with lupus are at risk for coronary artery disease and stroke, and myocardial infarction -- the leading cause of death among these patients -- typically occurs before age 50.
"Discovering ways to reduce cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality is a major focus of study in [lupus] research," the researchers wrote.
Their recent studies have implicated dysfunctional, proinflammatory high density lipoproteins (HDL) in increased intima-media thickness and atherosclerotic plaque formation in lupus.
Source Medpage Today