Premature atherosclerosis in systemic lupus erythematosus

Norman T. Ilowite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Premature atherosclerosis is a recognized complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Since life expectancy in SLE is improving, premature atherosclerosis is emerging as an ever more important clinical issue. Atherosclerosis begins in the pediatric age group, and interventions directed at prevention should begin in childhood as well. Possible etiologies include dyslipoproteinemia (DL) from the underlying chronic inflammatory disease or from corticosteroid therapy, hypercoagulation due to antiphospholipid antibodies or nephrotic syndrome, vasculitis, and hypertension. A relationship between DL and presence of anticardiolipin antibodies (aCL) has been reported. Dietary therapy is helpful, but many patients continue to have significant DL after both dietary modification and fish oil supplementation. Lipid lowering drugs may be indicated in this subgroup. Potential mechanisms of the DL are discussed. Other strategies to prevent atherosclerosis and its complications are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-19
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue numberSUPPL. 58
StatePublished - 2000


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Childhood
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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