Diseases & Treatments, Helpful Information, Lupus

How Does Lupus Affect the Cardiovascular System?

Between the anxiety of not knowing how you’ll feel tomorrow and the possible complications arising from your condition, living with a chronic disease often feels like more than you can handle. Having an invested, accessible medical team by your side is the best way to conquer chronic illness and make the most of each day.

At ARBDA, your source for expert chronic condition management and Lupus treatment in New Jersey, we aim to provide education and effective treatment options for individuals experiencing complex, chronic medical issues.

If you’ve been diagnosed with Lupus, learn how this disease can affect your cardiovascular system.

How Lupus Affects Your Heart

As an autoimmune disease, Lupus can negatively impact healthy tissue(s) in any part of the body. When lupus affects your heart, arteries, and veins, the result can be worrisome. Take a look at the most common cardiovascular complications individuals with lupus experience.

Heart Disease

It is well known that people with lupus are at increased risk for heart disease, but researchers are still trying to figure out why this is the case. The Lupus Research Alliance reported that a certain type of cell, neutrophils, may be partly to blame.1 Normally present to fight infection, neutrophils may instead transform into harmful cells that trigger inflammation in blood vessels.

Coronary Artery Disease

No one is immune from developing coronary artery disease, or “CAD,” but those with lupus are at an increased risk for this condition. Some reasons for this are the use of corticosteroids in the treatment of lupus.2 Chronic, high-dose steroids can lead to hypertension, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the pain and discomfort caused by lupus can result in a sedentary lifestyle with little exercise, which only contributes to the development of possible heart complications later in life.

Tissue Inflammation

Lupus can cause inflammation in the cardiovascular system like pericarditis (inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart), myocarditis (inflammation of the heart’s muscle tissue), and endocarditis (inflammation of the heart’s inner wall tissue).2 Complications of these conditions may include blood clots, tissue scarring, and heart failure if left untreated.

Partner with ARBDA

As a leading provider of chronic disease management and renowned Lupus specialists in New Jersey, our team at ARBDA understands that living with chronic illnesses can be frightening. To avoid life-threatening complications from lupus, keep your medical team informed of any new symptoms you experience and attend scheduled follow-up appointments. If you’re looking for a medical partner to monitor your condition, reach out to us to schedule an appointment.

 

1https://www.lupusresearch.org/heart-disease-common-lupus-new-study-may-explain/

2https://www.lupus.org/resources/how-lupus-affects-the-heart-and-circulation#:~:text=Lupus%20can%20cause%20inflammation%20of,other%20muscles%20in%20the%20body