To evaluate levels of resistin in female subjects with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) compared to age and race-matched controls and to determine the relationship between resistin and systemic inflammation, disease measures, and coronary artery calcification (CAC).
Resistin levels were measured on stored samples from 159 women with SLE and 70 controls as an extension of a previous cross-sectional study. Spearman correlations and multivariable regressions were used to examine whether resistin levels were associated with SLE, disease-specific and inflammatory markers, insulin resistance, and CAC.
In a multivariable linear regression model, a diagnosis of SLE was significantly associated with higher resistin levels independent of age, race, renal function, body mass index (BMI), high-sensitivity CRP (hsCRP), hypertension, diabetes, and steroid use. In SLE, resistin levels correlated positively with Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics Damage Index, glomerular filtration rate (GFR), hsCRP, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, homocysteine, and disease duration (all p < 0.03). Resistin level did not correlate with markers of insulin resistance or body adiposity, including homeostatic model assessment or BMI. Resistin levels were significantly elevated in SLE cases with CAC compared to cases without CAC (16.58 vs 13.10 ng/ml, respectively; p = 0.04). In multivariate logistic regression, the association was not present after adjustment for age, race, and GFR.
SLE was independently associated with higher resistin levels. Among subjects with SLE, higher resistin level correlated positively with renal dysfunction, inflammatory markers, and disease damage but not with insulin resistance or BMI. SLE cases with CAC had higher resistin levels than cases without CAC; however, this relationship was dependent on other established risk factors.