View Full Version : New York Times articles on lupus and related

10-24-2006, 11:09 AM

A friend just sent this to me. Some interesting articles on the list!

10-24-2006, 12:01 PM
Hi I was just reading some of the articles form the site that you posted. The one article that states about people who are dx with SLE as having a 480 percent higher chance of having heart disease is scary big time. I don't want to end up dead from heart disease. Are the doctors doing anything about this or is this something new that they have found out? I am very curious about this, because the Rheumatologist told me that I have most likely had Lupus since the age of about 7 years old. I am now 47. Could anyone remark about this? It is upsetting me big time. I am very afraid of heart attacks big time. Hugs, Kathleen

10-24-2006, 04:56 PM
Before you get too upset about this article, remember that it involves just one study with less than 200 lupus patients, so you should be skeptical of any drastic conclusions. The article doesn't discuss whether those lupus patients had been treated with steroids, whether or not they had kidney disease, high cholesterol, family history of heart disease - all factors that can affect your risk of heart disease. So the study might be interesting, but we won't know how accurate this doctor's conclusions are until they have been validated by other doctors getting the same results - in the scientific community, this is called "reproduceability". If the doctor's methodology is valid and his conclusions accurate, then another scientist repeating the same experiment should get the samee results. If the study can't be reproduced, that casts serious doubts on its accuracy.

That being said, doctors have known for years that lupus patients have an increased risk of premature coronary artery disease, as do patients with RA. Most doctors think the increased risk is about 5 times higher than someone without lupus. Treatment with steroids increases the risk - another good reason to avoid them when you can.

Whether you have lupus or not, heart disease is the number one cause of death in women - so all women need to practice heart-healthy strategies of watching their diet and cholesterol and getting enough exercise.

Women and their doctors also need to know that the symptoms of heart disease in women are different from men - especially heart attack symptoms. So it's impoprtant for women to educate themselves on this issue. You can get more information from the American Heart Association.

10-25-2006, 01:23 AM
Hi Mary,
I understand the article now. It just scared me when I read that. I refuse to take steroids or prednisone if it can possibly be helped. To me Prednisone is a very dangerous drug. My doctor told me that he does not like to use Prednisone if it can possibly be helped, because it is very hard on the heart and other organs and the bones. I have only been on prednisone a couple of times during the course of this illness. I am glad that you pointed it out to me that the tests were only done on 200 people. I will try not to get upset over articles like this again. It just threw me for a loop. Thank you for clarifying this for me as it puts me more at ease.

Kathleen :)