Accelerated atherosclerosis is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in SLE. Patients with SLE are 10 times more likely to die from myocardial infarction as compared with the general age- and sex-matched population. Autopsy studies support the clinical data, demonstrating severe coronary artery atherosclerosis in up to 40% of patients with SLE compared with 2% of control patients matched for age at the time of death.8
8. Hahn BH. Systemic lupus erythematosus and accelerated atherosclerosis. N Engl J Med 2003;349:2379-80.