The relationship between dyslipidemia and lupus nephritis in systemic lupus erythematosus patients attending a Saudi Rheumatic Center, Tabuk


Background: There is an increasing awareness of the role of dyslipidemia in lupus nephritis patients, no researchers have studied dyslipidemia in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in Tabuk. In this study, we aimed to investigate the association between dyslipidemia and lupus nephritis in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.

Methods: This cross-sectional comparative longitudinal hospital-based study was conducted at a rheumatic clinic in the North West Armed Force Hospital (NWAFH) during the period April 2014–June 2015. Seventy-three patients diagnosed with SLE were invited to participate in the study. All participants were required to sign a written informed consent, following which they were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Data collected include demographic data, clinical characteristics, fasting lipid profile, renal function tests, urine analysis, antinuclear antibody, anti-double-stranded antibodies, complement levels, serum albumin, anticardiolipin, ant bodies, and antiphospholipid antibodies. Lupus nephritis was ascertained by renal biopsy. The research was approved by the ethical committees of both the University of Tabuk and the NWAFH and data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).

Results: Out of 73 patients with SLE, 86.3% were females with a mean age of  34 ± 6.4 years. Lupus nephritis was evident in 26% of the patients, proteinuria in 44.1%, high total cholesterol in 17.8%, high low-density lipoprotein in 15.1%, high triglycerides in 27.3%, and low high-density lipoproteins in 52.1%. Patients with lupus nephritis had high total cholesterol, high LDL, high TG, and low HDL than those without lupus nephritis P-value < 0.05.

Conclusion: Dyslipidemia was more common among patients with SLE nephritis, and an aggressive treatment is recommended to reduce this serious complication. The relatively small size of the study group and the fact that the study was conducted at a single tertiary center are the limitations of this study.

Keywords: dyslipidemia, lupus nephritis, Saudi Arabia

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