New Tool Better Estimates Cardiovascular Risk in People With Lupus

 A tool that incorporates lupus-related variables with traditional risk factors provides a much more accurate assessment of cardiovascular (CV) risk in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), according to data presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Rheumatology Association.

In the initial clinical assessment of this tool, called the SLECRISK, "it identified high-risk lupus patients who would otherwise be missed by traditional methods of CV risk assessment," reported author of research, MD, associate director of translational research at the University of Calgary's (Alta.) Lupus Centre of Excellence.

It is well known that patients with SLE face an increased risk of CV events starting at an age long before risk begins climbing in the general population, according to Dr. Choi. She cited one study that showed women aged 35-44 years have a 50-fold greater risk of myocardial infarction than healthy individuals.

All major guidelines recognize this increased risk and recommend CV risk assessment in patients with SLE, even though author of research pointed out that traditional tools, such as the American College of Cardiology atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk calculator or the Framingham Risk Score (FRS) have a limited ability to detect the patients with SLE who are most likely to have an event.