SLE and metabolic syndrome

Lupus. 2013 Oct;22(12):1259-66. doi: 10.1177/0961203313502570.


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a recently defined clustering of cardiovascular risk factors associated with insulin resistance and an increased risk of future type II diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients have an increased prevalence of MetS and an increased prevalence of insulin resistance. Chronic inflammation may predispose to these complications in SLE and there is also evidence that corticosteroid therapy also contributes, although this finding has not been as consistent as would be predicted from the known metabolic effects of corticosteroids. MetS may represent a good model in which to begin to understand how SLE drives an increased risk of CVD. For now, the utility of identifying MetS in patients is to identify a subset in which more focused lifestyle interventions should be targeted and in whom medication review and adjustment (especially corticosteroid doses) should be considered to help modify future CVD risk.

Keywords: Systemic lupus erythematosus; metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Life Style
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / therapy
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors


  • Glucocorticoids