New study conducted with a Swedish lupus cohort finds increased risk of ischemic stroke.
A study published in April 2017 found that lupus patients had more than twice the risk of having an ischemic stroke (HR 2.2, 95% confidence interval 1.7 – 2.8) as the general population. Importantly, the highest relative risk for stroke was in the first year after receiving a lupus diagnosis. The researchers noted that the, “first encounter with patients represents an opportunity for rheumatologists to intervene.”
There were also age and sex differences found in the study. Women and people under the age of 50 experienced the highest relative rate of ischemic stroke. Though, they do note that people over 60 years of age have the highest absolute rate of stroke. And, intra-cerebral hemorrhage was increased for people with SLE, and grew over time. Researchers hypothesized that this may be “due to a cumulative effect of inflammation or medications used more often in SLE such as anticoagulants.“