Risk of Cerebrovascular Accidents and Ischemic Heart Disease in Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus: A Population-Based Cohort Study

Abha G. Singh, Cynthia S. Crowson, Siddharth Singh, Mark Denis, P. Davis, Hilal Maradit-Kremers, Eric L. Matteson, Vaidehi R. Chowdhary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: It is unclear whether isolated cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) affects cardiovascular risk. We estimated the cumulative incidence and mortality of cardiovascular diseases in a population-based CLE cohort and compared the risk with a matched non-CLE cohort. Methods: All incident cases of CLE in Olmsted County, Minnesota, between 1965 and 2005 were followed until December 2013. The cumulative incidence of cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs [including stroke and transient ischemic attack]), ischemic heart disease (IHD [including coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, and angina pectoris]), heart failure, and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) was derived and compared to an age-, sex-, and calendar year–matched non-CLE cohort using Cox models. Results: There were 155 patients with CLE (mean ± SD age at diagnosis 48 ± 16 years, 65% female, mean ± SD BMI 26.3 ± 7.1 kg/m2, 40% smokers, 9% with diabetes mellitus). During a median followup of 14.6 years, 41 CLE patients had cardiovascular events (15 patients with CVAs, 32 patients with IHD), with a 20-year cumulative incidence of 31.6%. As compared to non-CLE subjects, the risk of CVAs (smoking-adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 2.97 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.13–7.78]) and PAD (HR 2.06 [95% CI 0.99–4.32]) was increased in patients with CLE, but the risk of IHD was not increased (HR 0.94 [95% CI 0.57–1.54]). There was no increase in cardiovascular mortality (HR 1.68 [95% CI 0.76–3.75]). The magnitude of risk for any cardiovascular outcome was not significantly influenced by the extent of cutaneous involvement. Conclusion: CLE may be associated with an increased risk of CVAs and PAD, but not IHD. Factors contributing to increased CVA risk in patients with CLE merit evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1664-1670
Number of pages7
JournalArthritis Care and Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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