Study Finds Genetic Connection to Hypertension in People with Childhood-Onset Lupus
Researchers examined gene protein levels and cardiovascular (CVD) disease in people with childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (cSLE). They found that protein levels (C4 and C3) increased in individuals with hypertension and those with levels ≥2 of C4B genes were 2.5 times likely of having hypertension and higher diastolic blood pressure (pericarditis). When treated with atorvastatin, those with ≥2 C4B gene levels saw a slower increase in the thickness of the inner two layers of the carotid artery, which affects CVD risk.
The gene samples of 221 people that participated in the Atheroscelrosis Prevention in Pediatric Lupus Erythematosus (APPLE) clinical trial were analyzed. APPLE was the largest study ever conducted in children with lupus and produced an enormous amount of data that is continually being used by the lupus medical community.
In view of the high CVD risk in lupus, the researchers find it appropriate for patients with cSLE to receive routine cardiovascular risk assessments and probably preventive therapy to slow or stop the progress of underlying disease.
Two study researchers are members of the Lupus Foundation of American Medical-Scientific Advisory Council – Stacy Ardoin, MD, MHS, study researcher with the division of rheumatology, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Laura E. Schanberg, MD, professor of pediatrics and member in the Duke Clinical Research Institute.
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