Panel of Non-Traditional Biomarkers Predicts Serious Heart-Health Risk in Women with Lupus
Research finds a high “PREDICTS” score in women with lupus is associated with a nearly four-fold higher risk of experiencing a major cardiac event, like a heart attack or stroke. “PREDICTS” refers to a panel of several biomarkers and clinical characteristics that make up a person’s heart disease risk profile. The PREDICTS profile includes data like a person’s age and diabetes diagnosis, as well as other non-traditional heart-disease biomarkers, like pro-inflammatory types of cholesterol, hormones and proteins. While these biomarkers are not typically assessed to determine heart health risk, they have been linked to the early stages of plaque build-up in the arteries.
The study looked at 342 women with lupus and 155 women without lupus and followed them for a period of about nine and a half years. In that time, just 5% of women without lupus experienced a major cardiac event compared to 20% of the women with lupus. And, the “PREDICTS” risk profile strongly predicted risk of having a serious cardiac event in the future. During the study period, 77% of women with lupus who had a high PREDICTS score at baseline wound up having a heart attack, stroke or other major cardiac event compared to 34% of women with lupus with a low PREDICTS score.
A high PREDICTS score was defined as having three or more identified risk factors at baseline or having diabetes and at least one additional risk factor at baseline.
People with lupus are at an increased risk of developing heart disease. In fact, young women with lupus are 50 times more likely to have a heart attack than women without lupus of similar age and characteristics. The PREDICTS panel of biomarkers gives clinicians a new tool to help screen for heart health risk beyond traditional biomarkers, like blood pressure and cholesterol and triglyceride levels, potentially helping prevent adverse outcomes in the future. Learn more about the impact of lupus on heart health.