Inflammatory biomarkers and subclinical atherosclerosis in systemic lupus erythematosus: The Breakfast with a Buddy Biomarkers of Lupus Study
Williams, Edith Marie
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African-American women are at high risk for Systemic lupus erythematosus. Women with lupus are five to eight times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than women in the general population. Inflammation is suspected to be important in the process of atherosclerosis and lupus patients have a greater risk of chronic low-grade inflammation. Intima media thickness (IMT) is a reliable marker of atherosclerosis in its early stages. Previous studies of carotid atherosclerosis in SLE have not been representative of the minority groups most affected by lupus and its complications. Therefore, a study of 30 lupus cases and 76 controls was conducted to investigate the relationship between carotid atherosclerosis and inflammation in a predominantly African-American sample. Participation consisted of a questionnaire, physical examination, fasting blood draw, and ultrasound of the carotid arteries. Linear regression models were used to define the relationships among lupus, carotid IMT, inflammation, and traditional cardiovascular risk factors and inflammation. There were observed differences between cases and controls with regard to carotid IMT and traditional cardiovascular risk factors, although few reached statistical significance. Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha was significantly related to carotid IMT, lupus, race, body mass index, age, and hypertension, indicating that it may be an important factor to consider in future studies of cardiovascular risk in African American women with lupus.
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