March 17, 2021
People with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are at risk for cardiovascular diseases, and those with lupus nephritis are at greater risk, according to the findings of a new analysis of 20 clinical studies.
Results showed that people with SLE are twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease as healthy people. Their risk for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), stroke, heart attack, peripheral vascular disease and heart failure was also significantly higher. Peripheral vascular disease is a blood circulation disorder that causes the blood vessels outside the heart or brain to narrow, block or spasm. The risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) was also greater. There was no increased risk for coronary artery disease which refers to damage to the major blood vessels to the heart.
The study also showed that those people who had lupus nephritis in addition to lupus were twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those who had general SLE.
Lu X, Wang YH, Zhang J, et al. Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus face a high risk of cardiovascular disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Int Immunopharmacol. 2021 Feb 23;94:107466. doi:10.1016/j.intimp.2021.107466