Bottom Line on Diabetes vs Lupus and Stroke & Heart Attacks

Lupus and Stroke and Heart Attacks: A bigger problem than we thought!

We have known for a long time that a big problem for SLE patients: lupus and stroke and heart attacks.
Diabetes has been considered an important cause of heart attacks and strokes for a long time. While systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has been noted by experts to also cause heart attacks and strokes, it has never been included in the main list of causes (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol).
The American Heart Association. A recent 2020 study in the journal Arthritis Care & Research looked at the Medicaid database from 29 states. They compared over 40,000 SLE patients with over 80,000 diabetics during the years 2007 and 2010. Lupus patients had a 27% higher chance of having heart attacks and strokes than the diabetics. The research has been overwhelming regarding how important of a risk factor lupus is for causing these problems. Heart attacks and strokes (i.e. cardiovascular disease) are the #1 cause of death in SLE patients, and these problems occur much earlier in life than they should. It is time for SLE to be added to the list of diseases that are most likely to increase the risk for having heart attacks and strokes.
Man with lupus with hands on his chest during a heart attack The Bottom Line:

If you have SLE, it is imperative that you do everything possible to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Make sure to read and practice everything in my “Lupus Secrets” for good advice on what to do.
There are many things you can do to reduce your chance of having lupus and stroke or heart attacks.
Exercise regularly
Eat healthy (strongly consider eating an antiinflammatory diet)
Reduce stress
Get plenty of sleep
Practice daily mindfulness
Don’t smoke