Inflammatory mechanisms affecting the lipid profile in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Cecilia P. Chung, Annette Oeser, Joseph Solus, Ingrid Avalos, Tebeb Gebretsadik, Ayumi Shintani, MacRae F. Linton, Sergio Fazio, C. Michael Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objective. Increased low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides, and decreased high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentrations are associated with adverse cardiovascular risk in the general population. Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have an altered lipid profile characterized by increased triglycerides and decreased HDL cholesterol concentrations. We examined the relationships between lipid concentrations, cytokines, and inflammatory markers in patients with SLE. Methods. Fasting lipid concentrations, C-reactive protein (CRP), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) were measured in 110 patients with SLE. Disease activity was quantified by the SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI), and disease damage by the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) score. Concentrations of circulating tumor necrosis factor-cc (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and insulin were measured and insulin sensitivity calculated. Results. Lower concentrations of HDL cholesterol were independently associated with higher ESR (p < 0.001), IL-6 (p = 0.02), SLEDAI (p = 0.04), and TNF-α (p = 0.04) after adjustment for age, sex, race, body mass index, insulin sensitivity, and current use of corticosteroids or hydroxychloroquine. Triglyceride concentrations were associated with higher CRP concentrations (p = 0.02) and SLICC score (p = 0.04). Conclusion. Deleterious changes in lipid profile are independently associated with higher concentrations of markers and mediators of inflammation and disease activity and damage in patients with SLE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1849-1854
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cholesterol
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology


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