Introduction: SLE has been described as an independent risk factor for the development of cardiovascular (CV) disease. Recently, the QRESEARCH risk estimator version 3 (QRISK3) calculator has been launched for CV risk assessment in the general population. QRISK3 now includes the presence of SLE as one of its variables for calculating CV risk. Our objective was to compare the predictive capacity between QRISK3 and the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) for the presence of subclinical carotid atherosclerosis in patients with SLE.
Methods: Two hundred and ninety-six patients with SLE were recruited. The presence of subclinical atherosclerosis was evaluated by carotid ultrasound to identify carotid plaque and the thickness of the carotid intima-media (cIMT). QRISK3 and SCORE were calculated. The relationship of QRISK3 and SCORE with each other and with the presence of subclinical carotid atherosclerosis (both carotid plaque and cIMT) was studied.
Results: There was no correlation between SCORE and QRISK3 in patients with SLE (Spearman's rho = -0.008, P = 0.90). Although QRISK3 showed a statistically significant correlation with cIMT (Spearman's rho = 0.420, P = 0.000), this relationship was not found between SCORE and cIMT (Spearman's rho = -0.005, P = 0.93). The discrimination capacity of QRISK3 for the presence of carotid plaque was statistically significant and superior to that of SCORE (AUC 0.765 [95% CI: 0.711, 0.820] vs 0.561 [95% CI: 0.494, 0.629], P = 0.000).
Conclusion: QRISK3 discrimination for subclinical atherosclerosis is higher than that of SCORE. QRISK3, and not SCORE, should be used for the calculation of CV risk in patients with SLE.
Keywords: SLE; cardiovascular risk; risk assessment.
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