New Study Suggests Better Management of Cardiac Events is Needed in People with Lupus
Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading complications of lupus. A new study found people with cutaneous lupus (CLE), also known as lupus skin disease, are undertreated and experience a significantly higher rate of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) events. ASCVD can lead to heart attack and strokes and people with lupus are at higher risk.
Researchers reviewed the records of 370 people with either CLE, without CLE or with both CLE and systemic lupus (SLE) and assessed their management of ASCVD events, specifically noting conditions like hyperlipidemia , hypertension, smoking, pre-diabetes, and diabetes mellitus. The researchers found that people with CLE-only or CLE + SLE are undertreated compared with the new guidelines for standard therapeutic targets to prevent ASCVD events and therefore consequently experience a significant burden of ASCVD events. Specific areas of concern known to affect heart health include:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad cholesterol”) levels: In this study, 67.3% of the group had levels above-normal.
- Hypertension: 71.9% of participants in this study had elevated blood pressure – of which74.4% were undertreated or untreated.
More awareness is needed amongst people living with lupus and their healthcare providers regarding the need to improve their cardiovascular health and management.
Further studies are needed to improve ASCVD event risk estimation in people living with lupus. Learn more about the impact of lupus on heart health.
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