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Metabolic Syndrome Common in Young Women With Lupus

Antimalarial protects against metabolic syndrome, countering steroid effects

THURSDAY, Sept. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Metabolic syndrome is common in young, premenopausal women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and chloroquine appears to protect against metabolic syndrome in these women, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Luciana F. Muniz, M.D., from Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Sao Paulo in Brazil, and colleagues evaluated the frequency of metabolic syndrome and disease- or therapy-related factors in 103 premenopausal SLE patients (<40 years) and 35 healthy, premenopausal, age-matched women.

The researchers found a higher frequency of metabolic syndrome in the SLE group (22.3 percent versus 5.7 percent; P=0.03). Compared with those without metabolic syndrome, SLE patients with metabolic syndrome had higher SLE Disease Activity Index scores (P=0.006), more frequently had previous renal disease (73.9 percent versus 51.2 percent; P=0.05) and current renal disease (34.8 percent versus 10 percent; P=0.008), and had higher current prednisone dose (P=0.018) and cumulative prednisone dose (P=0.023). Chloroquine was less frequently used in metabolic syndrome-SLE patients (65.2 percent versus 90 percent; P=0.008). In multivariate analysis, only current chloroquine use (prevalence ratio [PR], 0.29) and cumulative prednisone were associated with metabolic syndrome (PR, 1.02).

"Chloroquine has a protective effect on the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in these patients, and this benefit counteracts the deleterious effect of glucocorticoids in a dose-dependent manner," the authors conclude.

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