Background: The relationship between SLE and traditional risk factors for cardiovascular
events was evaluated.
Methods: The data regarding sixty patients with SLE and 30 healthy controls (age and sex
matched) were gathered using SLEDAI forms. Venous blood (10mL) from all the participants was
examined for hs-CRP, homocysteine, VCAM1, CBC, anti-DNA antibody, C3, C4, low-density
lipoprotein (LDL), cholesterol, FBS and triglyceride.
The IMT of carotid arteries was determined bilaterally by ultrasound. Other measurements included
insulin levels via Elisa (Linco/Millipore Corp) and the HOMA-IR index for insulin resistance.
Results: The mean age (in years) in the test and control groups was 28.8±10.3 (18-52) and
33.8±9.13 (18-48), respectively.
The average IMT in the test group was directly related to serum levels of VCAM1 (p<0.001), homocysteine
(p<0.001), cholesterol (p<0.009), LDL (p<0.001), TG (p<0.001), and FPG (p=0.004).
The association between other risk factors, insulin resistance, carotid IMT and SLEDAI, was nonexistent.
Mean insulin and insulin resistance levels in all the participants were 0.43±2.06 µU/mL
and 0.09±0.44, respectively. There was no significant difference between the test and control
groups regarding serum insulin and insulin resistance levels (p=0.42 and p=0.9, respectively). None
of the risk factors, such as hsCRP, VCAM1, or homocysteine, were shown to be related to insulin
resistance (p=0.6, p=0.6, p=0.09, respectively).
Conclusion: Our findings did not show an increase in the prevalence of atherosclerosis in patients
with SLE. There was no association between IMT and insulin resistance. However, the former was
associated with FPG, total cholesterol, LDL, TG, homocystein and VCAM1.