Subclinical atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction in young South-Asian patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Parasar Ghosh, Amresh Kumar, Sudeep Kumar, Amita Aggarwal, Nakul Sinha, Ramnath Misra
Clinical Rheumatology 2009, 28 (11): 1259-65
Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), especially Asian Indians, are at increased risk of developing premature atherosclerosis. To find out the prevalence and predictors of carotid intima-medial thickness (IMT) and brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD). Endothelial dysfunction was assessed by FMD in brachial artery and IMT was measured in common carotid artery in SLE patients and healthy controls. Sixty SLE patients (mean age 31 +/- 9 years) and 38 healthy controls (mean age 34 +/- 6 years) were included. The IMT was higher in SLE patients as compared to controls (0.49 +/- 0.08 mm vs. 0.39 +/- 0.05 mm, p < 0.0001). SLE and damage were independent predictors of abnormal IMT. FMD was impaired in SLE patients compared to controls (9.97% vs. 18.97%, p < 0.00001). None of the classical cardiovascular risk factors were predictors of FMD or abnormal IMT. Indian patients with SLE have higher prevalence of subclinical atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction. Presence of damage was associated with abnormal IMT in SLE patients.

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