High Blood Pressure as a Risk Factor for Development of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Asian People with Lupus
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a progressive and life-threatening disease which means you have high blood pressure in the arteries that go from your heart to your lungs. PAH is a rare complication in lupus and occurs in less than one percent of Caucasian people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); however, current literature suggest that incidence and survival rates of Asian people with lupus may be different compared to people in Western countries.
In an effort to gain a better understanding of the incidence and survival rates of Asian people with lupus and PAH, researchers analyzed data in a retrospective cohort study. The cohort included 15,783 people with lupus, of which only 336 developed PAH. Of those, the majority (70%) developed PAH within 5 years after diagnosis of SLE. Systemic hypertension (high blood pressure) and gender (female) were found to be predictors of PAH, and those with PAH had much higher mortality risk compared to those without PAH.
The study showed that the overall survival rate for a person with both lupus and PAH is worse in Asian countries when compared to Western countries; more research to understand this difference is needed. Additionally, the results showed that systemic hypertension may be a predictive factor for PAH in Asian people. The investigators recommend that physicians should have increased awareness for PAH in people who have both lupus and systemic hypertension. Learn about how lupus affects the heart and circulation.