Objectives Lupus systemic erythematosus is characterised by an increasing risk of premature cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD is one of the most common causes of death in SLE. Subclinical atherosclerosis in comparison to general population is also more prevalent, especially the presence of plaques at the carotid level, as well as thickening of the carotid intima.
The aetiology of atherosclerotic disease is completely unknown. It involves: traditional risk factors (age, male gender, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity) as well as risk factors related to the disease itself and the treatments used.
Methods A cross-sectional study was carried out from March to November 2015. 119 patients (94,1% women) were recruited from consultation at the Systemic Autoimmune Diseases Unit for a routine medical check. Clinical data on the disease (from diagnosis to the time of inclusion in the study) were obtained by reviewing the medical history. Data were collected about:
Traditional vascular risk factors.
Risk factors related to the disease: Age at diagnosis, time of disease progression, SLEDAI.
Results View table 1. Hypertension is one of the classic risk factors attributed to the disease. In our study the prevalence is 25%, similar to the one found in other studies in literature. Likewise, the percentage of patients receiving antihypertensive therapy is higher than that of hypertensive patients. This can be explained by the use of antihypertensives for antiproteinuric purposes in patients with nephropathy. Unless contraindicated, most patients received antimalarials and the use of corticosteroids is still important.
Conclusions Once the vascular risk factors have been identified, strict control of these factors is important. The realisation of cardiosaludable diet and regular aerobic exercise, since this constitutes the most effective form for its control. In addition, a rapid and long-term remission of the inflammatory activity of the disease should be achieved, avoiding high doses of oral glucocorticoids, thus avoiding its side effects. The decrease in the activity of the disease allows to do physical exercise, which would have beneficial consequences controlling the body mass index and hypertension.
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