CLINICAL RHEUMATOLOGY, vol.21, no.6, pp.520-524, 2002 (SCI-Expanded)
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a classic autoimmune disease characterised by the production of autoreactive T cells and autoantibodies that may affect every organ system. It has long been established that there is a close association between cholesterol-rich lipoproteins (such as low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol) and cardiovascular disease in patients with SLE. In this study, we evaluated total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, VLD-cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-1, apolipoprotein B, and cholesterol-rich serum lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)], which is accepted to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and for atherosclerosis, in 24 patients (mean age +/- SD 31.4 +/- 9.7 years, range 16-47, 22 F) with active SLE. Twenty-six healthy age- and sex-matched (mean age +/- SD 29.7 +/- 11.3 years, range 18-49 years, 22 F) subjects were included as a control group. In patients with SLE Lp(a) levels, total cholesterol, triglycerides and VLDL-cholesterol were found to be higher and HDL-cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-1 to be lower than those of controls. In conclusion, beacuse serum Lp(a) levels are significantly higher (P < 0.01) in patients with SLE, these patients have a risk of developing cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis. Patients with SLE should be followed up with this in mind.