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Curr Cardiol Rev. 2013 Feb 1;9(1):15-9.

Risk factors in cardiovascular disease in systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Department of Medicine, Rheumatology Unit, Faculty of Medical Science, State University of Campinas, Cidade Universitária, Campinas SP, Brazil.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic and multisystemic autoimmune disorder which predominantly affecting women. The most common cause of death in SLE patients affected by disease for more than 5 years is cardiovascular disease (CVD). Epidemiological observations suggest that, together with classical conventional risk factors, other mechanisms (non-conventional/disease-specific factors) promote accelerated atherosclerosis in inflammatory diseases like SLE. Traditional CVD risk factors included age, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, previous vascular event defined as previous history of cerebrovascular accidents or ischemic heart disease, menopause and smoking. The nontraditional factors presents in SLE are disease-specific like renal disease manifestation as Lupus nephritis (LN), presence of pro-inflammatory cytokines, some of inflammatory mediators, antiphospholipid antibodies, anti-oxLDL antibodies, corticosteroid uses and cumulative dose of glucocorticoids. We will review traditional and non-traditional risk factors associated with CVD in SLE patients.

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