Cor homini lupus? Identification of risk factors implicated in cardiovascular events in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in Romania

Authors: Ergina Syrigou, Dimitrios V.Moysidis, Andreas S.Papazoglou, Christos Tsagkaris, Anna Maria Louka, Anca Bobirca

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for up to 35% of mortality in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) [1]. Emerging evidence supports that SLE disease activity is associated with up to two times higher cardiovascular (CV) risk than traditional risk factors [2]. According to an interesting recent study of Salvetti et al. left ventricular function in premenopausal women suffering from SLE was inferior compared to control subjects matched for sex, age, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure and antihypertensive therapy. Moreover, the femoral and carotid pulse wave velocity were affected by the treatment of SLE with steroids [3]. These findings suggest that younger SLE patients are not spared from cardiovascular disease [1]. Hence, identifying further risk factors associated with CV events in SLE is essential, in order to improve CV care and decrease CV morbidity and mortality among these patients.

Although, CVD mortality in SLE has been investigated since 1995 [4], there is a decline in relevant studies emphasizing on European populations. Particularly in Eastern Europe, there have been less than ten relevant publications in Pubmed-indexed journals since 2013. Taking into account the recent efforts to create an SLE cardiovascular risk equation across the globe [5], it is important to pay attention to risk factors implicated in CVD among SLE patients at a regional or national level. In this letter, the authors report early findings of a relevant prospective follow-up/observational study in a major university hospital in Bucharest, Romania.

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