Accrual of atherosclerotic vascular events in a multicentre inception SLE cohort.
BACKGROUND/PURPOSE:In previously published work, atherosclerotic vascular events (AVE) occurred in approximately 10% of patients with SLE. We aimed to investigate the annual occurrence and potential risk factors for AVE in a multinational, multiethnic inception cohort of patients with SLE. METHODS:A large 33-centre cohort of SLE patients was followed yearly between 1999-2017. AVEs were attributed to atherosclerosis on the basis of SLE being inactive at the time of the AVE, and typical atherosclerotic changes on imaging or pathology, and/or evidence of atherosclerosis elsewhere. Analysis included descriptive statistics, rate of AVE's per 1000 patient-years, and univariable and multivariable relative risk regression models. RESULTS:Of the 1848 patients enrolled in the cohort, 1710 had at least one follow up visit after enrolment, for a total of 13,666 patient-years. Of 1710, 3.6% had one or more AVEs attributed to atherosclerosis, for an event rate of 4.6 per 1000 patient-years. In multivariable analyses, lower AVE rates were associated with antimalarials (HR: 0.54[95% CI 0.32, 0.91]) while higher AVE rates were associated with any prior vascular event (VE) (HR: 4.00[1.55,10.30]) and body mass index (BMI) >40 (HR: 2.74[1.04,7.18]) A prior AVE increased the risk for subsequent AVE (HR 5.42[3.17,9.27], p<0.001). CONCLUSION:The prevalence of AVE and rate of AVE accrual in this study is much lower than that seen in previously published data. This may be related to better control of both the disease activity and classic risk factors.