co-morbidities in SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus)
Last edited 04/2018 and last reviewed 04/2018
co-morbidities in SLE
Patients with SLE are at an increase risk of several co-morbidities when compared with the general population.
- can be either disease related morbidity or treatment related morbidity
- the following co-morbidities have been identified in lupus patients
- cardiovascular diseases
- e.g. - hypertension, dyslipidaemia
- the risk is 5-6 times higher when compared to healthy controls
- additionally lupus patients have a predisposition to premature atherosclerosis due to lupus-specific factors such as disease activity, renal disease and corticosteroid use.
- risk factors for reduced bone mineral density (BMD) include age, low body weight, inflammatory markers (ESR and CRP) and pre-existing organ damage
- corticosteroid doses of >7.5 mg in particular are associated with a greater risk of osteoporosis
- remains the primary cause of mortality in approximately 25% patients with SLE
- bacterial infections (specially pneumonia) are the most common reason for hospitalisation due to infection
- most common
- viral pathogen - herpes zoster
- bacterial pathogen - S. pneumoniae, E. coli and S. aureus
- both disease-related factors (lung involvement, renal disease, lymphopenia, complement consumption and functional hyposplenism) and drug-related effects (cumulative steroid exposure and immunosuppressant use) may increase the risk of infection (1)
- certain types of cancer (non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, lung cancer, hepatobiliary cancer)
- thromboembolic disease (1,2,3)
- (1) Mosca M et al.European League Against Rheumatism recommendations for monitoring patients with systemic lupus erythematosus in clinical practice and in observational studies. Ann Rheum Dis. 2010;69(7):1269-74.
- (2) Arthritis Research UK. Reports on Rheumatic Diseases. Topical Reviews No 2, spring 2013. Overview of management of systemic lupus erythematosus.
- (3) Bertsias G et al. EULAR recommendations for the management of systemic lupus erythematosus. Report of a Task Force of the EULAR Standing Committee for International Clinical Studies Including Therapeutics. Ann Rheum Dis. 2008;67(2):195-205