Cutaneous lupus erythematosus is associated with an increased risk of cardiac and vascular diseases: a large-scale, propensity-matched global retrospective cohort study

Henning Olbrich*, Khalaf Kridin, Henner Zirpel, Christian D. Sadik, Patrick Terheyden, Diamant Thaçi, Ralf J. Ludwig, Katharina Boch

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit


Background: Autoimmune skin diseases can expedite various systemic sequelae involving other organs. Although limited to the skin, cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) was noted to be associated with thromboembolic diseases. However, small cohort sizes, partially discrepant outcomes, missing data on CLE subtypes, and incomplete risk assessment limits these findings. Methods: The Global Collaborative Network of TriNetX provides access to medical records of more than 120 million patients worldwide. We used TriNetX to elucidate the risk for cardiac and vascular diseases after diagnosis of CLE, and its subtypes chronic discoid (DLE) and subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE). We included 30,315 CLE, 27,427 DLE, and 1613 SCLE patients. We performed propensity-matched cohort studies determining the risk to develop cardiac and vascular diseases (ICD10CM:I00-99) following diagnosis of CLE, DLE, or SCLE. Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus were excluded. Findings: We document that CLE and its subtype DLE but less so SCLE are associated with a higher risk for various cardiac and vascular diseases. This included predominantly thromboembolic events such as pulmonary embolism, cerebral infarction, and acute myocardial infarction, but also peripheral vascular disease and pericarditis. For example, the hazard ratio of arterial embolism and thrombosis was 1.399 (confidence interval: 1.230–1.591, p < 0.0001) following CLE diagnosis. The study is limited by retrospective data collection and reliance on ICD10-disease classification. Interpretation: CLE and its major subtype DLE are associated with an increased risk for the development of a wide range of cardiac and vascular diseases. Funding: This research was funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (EXC 2167, CSSL/CS01-2022) and the Excellence-Chair Program of the State of Schleswig-Holstein.

Seiten (von - bis)104639
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 07.2023

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Forschungsschwerpunkt: Infektion und Entzündung - Zentrum für Infektions- und Entzündungsforschung Lübeck (ZIEL)
  • Zentren: Center for Research on Inflammation of the Skin (CRIS)


  • 204-05 Immunologie
  • 205-19 Dermatologie
  • 205-22 Klinische Immunologie und Allergologie