Low Vitamin D Not Tied to Atherosclerosis in SLE

September 09, 2013

By David Douglas

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Sep 09 - In patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), vitamin D deficiency does not predict progression of measures of subclinical atherosclerosis, researchers have found.

The association of vitamin D with subclinical measures of atherosclerosis in SLE has been contradictory, Dr. Michelle Petri of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and colleagues noted online August 16 in Rheumatology.

"Vitamin D has modest but real benefit for lupus activity" and many SLE patients "are profoundly vitamin D deficient," Dr. Petri told Reuters Health by email. In lupus, she added, it is thought that the interferon gene signature may predict progression of atherosclerosis and that low vitamin D might "inflate" this process. But, she said, "Our study did not find any association."

She and her colleagues analyzed data on 154 participants in a randomized controlled trial of atorvastatin, who were assessed at baseline and two years later.

Levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D [25(OH)D] ranged from 4 to 79 ng/mL. Although a higher proportion of patients with low levels had coronary artery calcium scores above 100 compared to those with insufficiency or normal levels, the difference was not statistically significant.

Deficiency was associated with higher high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels at baseline but did not predict a change over two years. In addition, there was no relationship with carotid intima media thickness.

Overall, the investigators conclude, "25(OH)D was not associated with any measure of subclinical atherosclerosis."

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/13BdcOA

Rheumatology 2013.

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