Objective: To examine if angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor use delays the occurrence of renal involvement and decreases the risk of disease activity in SLE patients.
Methods: SLE patients (Hispanics, African Americans and Caucasians) from the lupus in minorities: nature vs nurture (LUMINA) cohort were studied. Renal involvement was defined as ACR criterion and/or biopsy-proven lupus nephritis. Time-to-renal involvement was examined by univariable and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analyses. Disease activity was examined with a case-crossover design and a conditional logistic regression model; in the case intervals, a decrease in the SLAM-R score >or=4 points occurred but not in the control intervals.
Results: Eighty of 378 patients (21%) were ACE inhibitor users; 298 (79%) were not. The probability of renal involvement free-survival at 10 yrs was 88.1% for users and 75.4% for non-users (P = 0.0099, log rank test). Users developed persistent proteinuria and/or biopsy-proven lupus nephritis (7.1%) less frequently than non-users (22.9%), P = 0.016. By multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analyses, ACE inhibitors use [hazard ratio (HR) 0.27; 95% CI 0.09, 0.78] was associated with a longer time-to-renal involvement occurrence whereas African American ethnicity (HR 3.31; 95% CI 1.44, 7.61) was with a shorter time. ACE inhibitor use (54/288 case and 254/1148 control intervals) was also associated with a decreased risk of disease activity (HR 0.56; 95% CI 0.34, 0.94).
Conclusions: ACE inhibitor use delays the development of renal involvement and associates with a decreased risk of disease activity in SLE; corroboration of these findings in other lupus cohorts is desirable before practice recommendations are formulated.