Objective. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with patients' recognition of SLE as an independent risk factor for CVD and their perception of their personal CVD risk. Methods. SLE patients were sent questionnaires that assessed demographic characteristics, any CVD risk factors, and information regarding the CVD counseling they had received from their physicians. Variables significantly associated with the outcomes were analyzed using logistic regression models. Results. Information obtained from 226 questionnaires was analyzed. Fifty-eight percent of the respondents reported receiving no CVD counseling from a physician. Patients who recalled receiving counseling from a physician were 2.3 times more likely (P = 0.02) to recognize SLE as a CVD risk factor and 3.2 times more likely (P = 0.02) to perceive themselves as being at risk of CVD compared with those patients who did not receive physician counseling. Receiving physician CVD counseling was the strongest predictor of a patient's self-perception of CVD risk. Those patients at intermediate to high risk (n = 167) who reported having received counseling were 5.3 times as likely (P = 0.007) to perceive themselves to be at higher risk of CVD compared with similar patients who did not receive counseling. Younger patients were 4.2 times as likely (P = 0.002) as older patients to recognize SLE as a CVD risk factor. Other variables associated with patients' self-perceptions of CVD risk included family history of CVD and hypertension. Conclusion. Physician counseling regarding CVD in SLE patients has an important impact on patients' awareness of SLE as a CVD risk factor and their self-perception of CVD risk.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pharmacology (medical)