Lupus and Cardiovascular Disease: The Facts

Z. Szekanecz*, Y. Shoenfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Accelerated atherosclerosis leading to coronary artery disease (CAD) and other cardiac manifestations have increasing importance for the management and outcome of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). There is increased cardiovascular mortality in SLE. Several traditional and disease-related risk factors, as well as corticosteroids are involved in lupus-associated atherosclerosis and its clinical manifestations. Cardiovascular risk is even higher in lupus patients also having secondary antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) due to the additive effects of SLE- and APS-related risk factors. The primary and secondary prevention of atherosclerosis and CAD in these diseases includes drug treatment, such as the use of statins and aspirin, as well as lifestyle modifications. Apart from CAD, other cardiac manifestations may also be present in SLE patients. Among these conditions, pericarditis is the most common, however, myocarditis, endocarditis and valvular disease, conduction abnormalities, impairment of systolic and diastolic function, pulmonary or peripheral arterial hypertension and microcirculatory problems may also occur. Early diagnosis of SLE, active immunosuppressive treatment and close follow-up of lupus patients and prevention may help to minimize cardiovascular risk in these individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
Issue number11_suppl
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • atherosclerosis
  • cardiac manifestations
  • cardiovascular disease
  • systemic lupus erythematosus


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