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Progression of subclinical and clinical cardiovascular disease in a UK SLE cohort: the role of classic and SLE-related factors

Haque, Sahena and Skeoch, Sarah and Rakieh, Chadi and Edlin, Helena and Ahmad, Yasmeen and Ho, Pauline and Gorodkin, Rachel and Alexander, Yvonne and Bruce, Ian N (2018) Progression of subclinical and clinical cardiovascular disease in a UK SLE cohort: the role of classic and SLE-related factors. Lupus Science & Medicine, 5 (1). ISSN 2053-8790

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Abstract

Objectives We aimed to describe the rate and determinants of carotid plaque progression and the onset of clinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a UK SLE cohort. Methods Female patients with SLE of white British ancestry were recruited from clinics in the North-West of England and had a baseline clinical and CVD risk assessment including measurement of carotid intima–media thickness (CIMT) and plaque using B-mode Doppler ultrasound. Patients were followed up (>3.5 years after baseline visit) and had a repeat carotid Doppler to assess progression of plaque and CIMT. Clinical CVD events between visits were also noted. Results Of 200 patients with a baseline scan, 124 (62%) patients had a second assessment at a median (IQR) of 5.8 (5.2–6.3) years follow-up. New plaque developed in 32 (26%) (4.5% per annum) patients and plaque progression was observed in 52 (41%) patients. Factors associated with plaque progression were older age (OR 1.13; 95%  CI 1.06 to 1.20), anticardiolipin (OR 3.36; 1.27 to 10.40) and anti-Ro (OR 0.31; 0.11 to 0.86) antibodies. CVD events occurred in 7.2% over 5.8 years compared with 1.0% predicted using the Framingham risk score (p<0.001). Higher triglycerides (OR 3.6; 1.23 to 10.56), cyclophosphamide exposure ‘ever’ (OR 16.7; 1.46 to 63.5) and baseline Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics damage index score (OR 9.62; 1.46 to 123) independently predicted future CVD events. Conclusion Accelerated atherosclerosis remains a major challenge in SLE disease management. A more comprehensive approach to CVD risk management taking into account disease factors such as severity and anticardiolipin antibody status may be necessary to improve CVD outcomes in this high-risk population.

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