Blood Pressure Variability and Age-related Blood Pressure Patterns in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

George Stojan, Laurence S. Magder, Michelle Petri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective. Despite the high prevalence of cardiovascular (CV) disease among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the relationship between age, blood pressure (BP), and BP variability (BPV) is not well understood. We studied visit-to-visit BPV, its relationship to age, clinical, and demographic characteristics, and its potential role as a CV risk factor in patients with SLE. Methods. We analyzed systolic (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) measures in our cohort using mixed-effects regression models. From these models, we then obtained estimates of the mean BP, the visit-to-visit SD, and the between-person SD. The estimated means were compared to the general population using data from the National Health Statistics Reports from 2001 to 2008. In addition, we examined the relationship between BP (means, variances), patient demographic and clinical characteristics, and subsequent CV events. Results. The mean SBP in SLE increased with age and was significantly higher in younger patients compared to the general population. BPV in SLE was elevated across all ages. BPV was significantly higher in African Americans, in patients with traditional CV risk factors, those with high disease activity, and in patients taking prednisone. Hydroxychloroquine was associated with significantly lower BPV. Within-person variability in DBP of ≥ 9 mmHg was highly associated with CV events in a multivariate analysis. Conclusion. Age-related BP patterns in SLE differ from the general population. Increased visit-to-visit BPV is affected by many disease-specific and traditional CV factors. Increased DBP variability is highly associated with CV events in SLE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-393
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Antihypertensive agents
  • Blood Pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology


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