As part of the Atherosclerosis Prevention in Pediatric Lupus Erythematosus (APPLE) Trial, a prospective multicenter cohort of 221 children and adolescents with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (mean age 15.7 years, 83% female) underwent baseline measurement of markers of cardiovascular risk, including fasting levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), triglycerides (TG), lipoprotein A (Lpa), homocysteine and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). A cross-sectional analysis of the baseline laboratory values and clinical characteristics of this cohort was performed. Univariable relationships between the cardiovascular markers of interest and clinical variables were assessed, followed by multivariable linear regression modeling. Mean levels of LDL, HDL, Lpa, TG, hs-CRP and homocysteine were in the normal or borderline ranges. In multivariable analysis, increased Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI), prednisone dose, and hypertension (HTN) were independently associated with higher LDL levels. Higher hs-CRP and creatinine clearance were independently related to lower HDL levels. Higher body mass index (BMI), prednisone dose, and homocysteine levels were independently associated with higher TG levels. Only Hispanic or non-White status predicted higher Lpa levels. Proteinuria, higher TG and lower creatinine clearance were independently associated with higher homocysteine levels, while use of multivitamin with folate predicted lower homocysteine levels. Higher BMI, lower HDL, and longer SLE disease duration, but not SLEDAI, were independently associated with higher hs-CRP levels. The R2 for these models ranged from 7% to 23%. SLE disease activity as measured by the SLEDAI was associated only with higher LDL levels and not with hs-CRP. Markers of renal injury (HTN, proteinuria, and creatinine clearance) were independently associated with levels of LDL, HDL, and homocysteine, highlighting the importance of renal status in the cardiovascular health of children and adolescents with SLE. Future longitudinal analysis of the APPLE cohort is needed to further examine these relationships.
- systemic lupus erythematosus
ASJC Scopus subject areas