Compared with the general population, patients with lupus had a three-fold increased risk for heart attack and a two-fold increased risk for stroke, according recently published data.
Juan Antonio Aviña-Zubieta, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and Research Scientist of Rheumatology at Arthritis Research Canada, and colleagues conducted a study of 4,863 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in British Colombia who were matched with up to 10 individuals from the general population. Of the patients with lupus, 86% were women and the mean age was 48.9 years. Between the two groups, researchers compared incidence rates of myocardial infarction (MI), ischemic stroke and cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Juan Antonio Aviña-Zubieta
Researchers found incidence rates for patients with SLE were 6.4 per 1,000 person-years for MI, 4.4 for stroke and 9.9 for CVD compared with 2.8, 2.3 and 4.7, respectively, in the general population. In patients with lupus, there was an increased risk for MI (hazard ratio = 2.61), stroke (hazard ratio = 2.14) and CVD (hazard ratio = 2.28). Further, the hazard ratios were highest during the first year after lupus diagnosis, with a 5.63 ratio for MI; a ratio of 6.47 for stroke; and a ratio of 6.28 for CVD.
“Our findings call for an increased awareness of cardiovascular prevention and surveillance in SLE patients,” the researchers wrote. – by Will Offit
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.