Study finds lupus more likely to cause cardiovascular problems in Black patients

Shivani Garg, MD, MS, of the Division of Rheumatology

While the autoimmune disease lupus can affect anyone, a unique population-based study of predominantly Black lupus patients living in the Atlanta, Georgia area indicates that the risk of cardiovascular disease is much higher in Black patients than in non-Black patients. The study was published in The Journal of Rheumatology.

“Our study shows that the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) starts early after diagnosis and is strikingly high (19-fold) in Black people with lupus and those who present with renal disease and discoid rash (a chronic skin presentation of lupus) at time of lupus diagnosis,’’ says lead author Shivani Garg, MD, MS, assistant professor, Rheumatology, and medical director of the UW Health Lupus clinic.

Specifically, researchers found two timepoints when risk of CVD rose significantly for patients—two years after diagnosis and 11 years after that. As CVD complications had generally been thought to arise later in the course of the disease, the new study alters that thinking and introduces new questions about effective and timely prevention.

Read the full story from UW SMPH.

Banner: Shivani Garg, MD, MS, is lead author of the new study. Credit: Clint Thayer/Department of Medicine.