The impact of obesity on SLE disease activity: findings from the Southern California Lupus Registry (SCOLR)
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The role of obesity in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) remains controversial. Studies have linked adiposity with a heightened risk of clinical complications including neurocognitive decline, renal impairment, dampened physical activity, and depressed quality of life—but not disease activity. We aimed to reexamine whether obesity in SLE patients independently associates with higher disease activity. Adult patients with SLE were recruited from the longitudinal, multi-ethnic Southern California Lupus Registry (SCOLR). Disease status was ascertained by calculating SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI), which was then statistically analyzed for association with increased body mass index (BMI) by univariable and multivariable regression analyses. One hundred and thirty-seven patients were included in the study; 37% were obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2). Obesity was significantly associated with SLEDAI (P = 0.026) and current steroid use (P = 0.029). Multivariable regression analysis demonstrated that obesity remained independently associated with lupus activity (OR 2.335, P = 0.026). In a representative sample of patients with SLE, obesity independently associated with worse SLE disease activity. Obesity may therefore be an important target for improving SLE outcomes.
KeywordsCardiovascular diseases Disease activity index Obesity Systemic lupus erythematosus
Compliance with ethical standards
The institutional review board at Loma Linda University approved this study and all patients provided written informed consent for participation.
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