Even for People with Mild Lupus, Risk of Cardiac Events and Mortality is Significantly Elevated
According to new research, cardiac-event risk (e.g., heart attack) and mortality risk is three- to four-times higher for people living with lupus for more than 10 years compared to people without lupus and similar heart-disease risk factors. Notably, having antiphospholipid syndrome and higher disease damage scores was associated with increased risk. Traditional risk factors, such as plaque buildup in the heart, older age, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, etc., were also associated with poor health outcomes.
The study assessed 99 people with mild lupus and compared them to a control group of 109 people without lupus. Over the ten-year study period, 12 people with lupus experienced a cardiac event or died, compared to just four people in the control group. The authors defined cardiac events as heart attack, stroke, transient ischaemic attack (also called a “mini stroke”), hospitalization for chest pain, coronary artery bypass grafting or percutaneous coronary intervention (also called “coronary angioplasty,” a procedure to open clogged arteries).
Lupus is one of the strongest known risk factors for cardiac events. The latest research points to specific risk factors that may make people with lupus more vulnerable and underscores the importance of making heart-healthy lifestyle choices. Learn more about lupus and heart health.