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Megan Zhao

Megan Zhao

2021 Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Fellow

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Project Title
: Assessing the Management of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD) Risk Factors in Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus (CLE) Patients
Mentor: Victoria P. Werth, M.D, Chief of Dermatology, Philadelphia V.A. Hospital, Professor of Dermatology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, Professor of Medicine

Project Summary: As the leading cause of death in the world, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is highly preventable if properly managed. In particular, cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) patients, especially those that develop systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), may be at a higher risk of developing ASCVD. It is not yet well understood how CLE and SLE patients are managed prior to ASCVD development. Thus, this study seeks to better understand the current standard of care these patients receive in the primary care visit setting.

This study will primarily focus on the management of well-established atherosclerotic risk factors to better understand the progression of patients who do and do not develop ASCVD. By analyzing these primary risk factors, this retrospective cohort study attempts to provide analysis of these patients’ longitudinal trajectory and their development or lack of development of ASCVD. A logistical regression model of the binary outcomes for an observational cohort study will be used, with adjustment for known covariates. This study seeks to explore the idea of optimal ASCVD medication or lifestyle intervention for lupus patients.