Cardiovascular benefits of habitual exercise in systemic lupus erythematosus: A review

Jill N. Barnes, Hirofumi Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease with unknown etiology that usually affects women of childbearing age. Although SLE causes damage to various body tissues, including joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain, cardiovascular (CV) disease is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in this population. Because traditional risk factors for CV disease fail to completely explain the accelerated risk in patients with SLE, the management of CV disease is exceedingly difficult. Accumulating evidence indicates that regular exercise is beneficial in improving vascular function and disease-related symptoms associated with SLE. This can be accomplished with the intensity (mild), amount (moderate), and type (a variety) of physical activity that can be performed and tolerated by most, if not all, patients with SLE. However, the common signs and symptoms of SLE, including musculoskeletal problems, CV disease, and fatigue, are factors that are known to interfere with physical activity. Accordingly, the prescription of exercise needs to be conducted carefully for this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysician and Sportsmedicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012


  • Arterial stiffness
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Blood pressure
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Vascular function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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