Background The prevalence of atherosclerosis is increased in SLE. Disease-specific and treatment-related factors have been implicated. We hypothesized that, in addition, diet may play an important role. However, relatively little is known about dietary habits in patients with SLE.
Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate the dietary nutrient levels in SLE patients with and without carotid atherosclerosis.
Methods This study included 111 SLE patients from the SLE vascular impact cohort (SLEVIC) study, Karolinska university hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Data on diet were linked with data on unilateral and bilateral plaque. Dietary data were based on food frequency questionnaires. Data on plaque were scored as absence or presence of unilateral and bilateral plaque that were detected by B-mode ultrasound. Daily mean intake of dietary nutrients was compared between patients a) with and without bilateral plaque; b) with and without plaque in the left carotid. Data on plaque was adjusted for age and low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels through logistic regression.
Results The results are shown in the table. Significant differences were found in the mean intake of several nutrients between patients with and without bilateral plaque. Overall, patients with carotid plaques had lower caloric intake of macronutrients and lower intake of various B vitamins and some other micronutrients. However, the dietary intake of fiber and of fatty acids C20:5 and C22:6 were higher in patients with carotid plaque. After data adjustments for age and LDL; energy, niacin, phosphorus and zinc remained significant.
Conclusions We found nutritional differences between SLE patients with and without carotid atherosclerosis. The increased intake of certain fatty acids, and decreased intake of micronutrients including B-vitamins, may have etiological importance and will be investigated further.
Disclosure of Interest None declared