Ischemia Heart Disease and Lupus: Definition, Causes, and Treatment

Lupus and heart disease is prevalent in people who have lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that has an unknown trigger that causes the person’s own body to attack its tissues. This damage causes widespread inflammation and damage. There is no cure for Lupus, but treatments are available. The most common type of Lupus is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Lupus can be controlled with proper treatment.

Ischemia Heart Disease and Lupus: Definition, Causes, and Treatment

Lupus can be from mild to life-threatening. The course of the disease depends on the patients level of compliance and treatments. There are many doctors that specialize in treating Lupus.

Coronary artery disease is one of the major complications of Lupus. Cardiovascular disease. systemic lupus erythematosus.


Lupus Heart Disease: Who Gets Lupus?

African American women are three times more likely to get Lupus than any other group. It is also more common in Latino, Asian, and American Indian women. African Americans tend to get Lupus at an earlier age. Lupus causes heart disease in  African American women.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Lupus is an autoimmune disease that triggers inflammation in different tissues of the body. Autoimmune diseases happen when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. The most common type of lupus is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which affects different parts of the body including internal organs.


Lupus Heart Disease: Can Lupus Cause Heart Problems?

     We had an unfortunate 23-year-old brought to the hospital via 911 with complaints of shortness of breath and an elevated heart rate. She was diagnosed with lupus at the unfortunate age of 10 years old. This patient has been in and out of the hospital since she was a child. Systemic lupus causes heart disease.

According to the Journal of Clinical Immunology, “Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus have a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular events due to atherosclerosis. Traditional cardiac risk factors cannot fully explain this increased risk.

Recent evidence strongly suggests that atherosclerotic plaque is largely driven by inflammation and an active immunological response, in contrast to the long-held belief that plaque is a passive accumulation of lipids in the arterial wall”


Lupus Heart Disease: Can Lupus Cause Heart Arrhythmia

Lupus has caused this patient to have congestive heart failure, hypertension, and kidney failure. This patient is on dialysis three times a week. However, the patient has been somewhat non-compliant. Therefore, when the patient missed her dialysis she became fluid overloaded. Since the patient cannot urinate, and she is still drinking fluids, the fluid and toxins have nowhere to go.


Why does Lupus Cause Heart Failure and Kidney Failure 

lupus kidney failure
Usually asymptomatic. Gross Hematuria. Nephrotic syndrome. Acute renal failure. Hypertension. end-stage renal failure.


Because lupus is an autoimmune disease, often times the heart can become inflamed. This is called myocarditis. Myocarditis can weaken the heart muscle; therefore, causing heart failure. However, with medications and antibiotics, the heart muscle can usually improve in many cases.

Lupus causes kidney failure because lupus causes the connective tissue inside the kidney to become inflamed. This inflammation can damage the kidneys and lead to kidney failure.  


Lupus Treatment

While there’s no cure for lupus. Treatments focus on improving quality of life through controlling symptoms and minimizing flare-ups. This begins with lifestyle modifications, including sun protection and diet. Further disease management includes medications, such as anti-inflammatories and steroids.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lupus and Heart Disease

Updated 7/1/2018

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