Even when it is not active, SLE may cause problems later, such as kidney disease, which can progress to renal failure and can require dialysis. This can be prevented by early and aggressive treatment at the first signs of kidney disease. Another problem is accelerated atherosclerosis, which increases the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events. It is crucial that SLE patients reduce other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol to reduce their risk for these complications. Most people with SLE can live normal lives, but this disorder must be carefully monitored and treatment should be adjusted as necessary to prevent serious complications.
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Explore This IssueDecember 2008
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Download the complete SLE fact sheet and other patient-education materials at www.rheumatology.org by following the links to patient education from the Practice Support Menu.