Atherosclerosis risk factors in systemic lupus erythematosus
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- Agarwal, S., Elliott, J.R. & Manzi, S. Curr Rheumatol Rep (2009) 11: 241. doi:10.1007/s11926-009-0034-0
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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has emerged as a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Growing evidence suggests that inflammation plays a key role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis from initial endothelial dysfunction to rupture of atheromatous plaques. The increased frequency of atherosclerosis in SLE is likely due to a complex interplay among traditional risk factors, disease-related factors such as medications and disease activity, and inflammatory and immunogenic factors. Identification of these novel risk factors will lead to a better understanding of CVD pathogenesis and may also provide targets for potential treatment strategies. When caring for SLE patients, clinicians should be aware of the increased CVD risk and treat the known modifiable risk factors in addition to controlling disease activity and inflammation.