Hydroxychloroquine had modest preventive effect on SLE patients developing diabetes

SAN DIEGO — Hydroxychloroquine had a borderline preventive effect in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus for developing new diabetes, while a high BMI was the strongest predictor of new diabetes, according to research presented at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting.

Michelle Petri, MD, MPH, professor of medicine and director of the Lupus Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, discussed the risk for diabetes in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and the risk factors that contribute to it. Petri said the research was based on reports that hydroxychloroquine has been shown in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to reduce the risk for new diabetes.

“What we found in our lupus patients was really very surprising,” Petri told Healio.com. “The risk of diabetes has been reduced since 2005 in our cohort in Baltimore, even though diabetes is an epidemic across the United States.”

Hydroxychloroquine’s preventive effect (P=.066) in SLE was consistent with the RA studies.

“However, most importantly, it was a body mass index above 30 that was the strongest predictor of new diabetes in lupus patients,” Petri reported.

Disclosure: Petri has conducted research for Human Genome Sciences/GlaxoSmithKline, Medimmune, Pfizer, Teva, Anthera and UCB, and has served as a consultant for Genentech, Lilly and Merck Serono.

For more information:

Petri M. #1806: Association Between Hydroxychloroquine Exposure and Incidence of Diabetes Mellitus in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Presented at: the 2013 American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting; Oct. 26-30, San Diego.

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