People with lupus have an increased risk for developing coronary artery disease (CAD) and atherosclerosis (build up of fatty material on artery walls). Studies show that people with lupus nephritis (LN) have an even greater risk of developing CAD. Researchers reviewed data of 3,732 diverse people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and LN to gauge any association with CAD and whether this association varies by class of LN. There are six classes of LN as set by the International Society of Nephrology and the Renal Pathology Society.
The study confirmed that LN is independently associated with CAD, with 47% of those with LN having CAD compared with people with SLE without LN. Persons with class III LN (Focal lupus nephritis: active and chronic; proliferative and sclerosing) and class III/V (Membranous lupus nephritis) had increased odds of having CAD compared with those without LN. This is the first study to show an association between CAD and classes of LN. Learn about the risks for heart disease and how to minimize them.
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