NYMC Faculty Publications

Cardiovascular Disease in Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Potential for Improved Primary Prevention With Statins

Author Type(s)


Journal Title

Cardiology in Review

First Page


Last Page


Document Type

Review Article

Publication Date





Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This is especially true in SLE patients with traditional CVD risk factors (eg, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity) and disease-related risk factors (eg, increased SLE disease activity, elevated C-reactive protein levels, and antiphospholipid antibodies). The only guidelines in the primary prevention of CVD in SLE patients involve reducing traditional risk factors, but there are additional therapies that may be beneficial, including statin use. Current data on statin use for prevention of CVD in SLE patients are limited, but there have been some promising results. Statin use has been shown to be especially important in SLE patients for decreasing low-density lipoprotein levels and preventing CVD in hyperlipidemic patients. In addition, there is evidence suggesting that it may be beneficial to use statins in SLE patients with chronically elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels and antiphospholipid antibodies. It is important to continue to investigate the impact of statins on CVD in SLE patients, as they could significantly improve outcomes in patients with this disease.