People with Lupus Have an Increased Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke
American College of Rheumatology 2006 Annual Meeting, Poster Session A, November 12, 2006, Presentation 642, Poster Board 656
Increased susceptibility of lupus patients with anti-Ro 60, La and Ro 52 to develop anti-oxidized LDL: Development of anti-oxidized LDL and IgG aPL antibodies prior to anti-Ro 60 onset in a lupus patient
Biji T. Kurien, PhD, and colleagues at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation set out to determine whether a group of patients with lupus could be identified who are at higher risk for complications of heart disease and stroke. They examined the way that autoantibodies (immune proteins characteristic of lupus) develop over time, to see if autoantibodies thought to play a role in heart disease might develop early in the course of lupus. These include antibodies to "bad cholesterol," especially the kind that has been altered by inflammation in the blood stream (called oxidized low-density lipoprotein, or oxLDL). They also looked at a different kind of antibody that might promote heart disease in the long run, since it is associated with blood clotting (called antiphospholipid antibody, or aPL).
For this study, Dr. Kurien and his team tested 67 patients with lupus and eight healthy people for antibodies to oxLDL. Thirty-seven out of the 67 lupus patients were positive for anti-oxLDL antibodies, and people who had these antibodies were also more likely to have one type of antiphospholipid antibodies (the IgG type). Anti-oxLDL occurred more often and at higher levels in lupus patients who also had antibodies Ro and La (60 kD Ro, La and 52 kD Ro). When consecutive blood samples were tested in a patient over time, from earlier to later lupus manifestations, it was found that anti-oxLDL and IgG aPL antibodies developed before anti-60 kD Ro.
Dr. Kurien said that the next step will be to follow patients with this profile (anti-Ro, anti-oxLDL, and antiphospholipid IgG) to see if they are more prone to developing heart disease than other lupus patients. If so, identifying these people earlier might enable some kind of protective treatments to be pursued.