Class, medication and ancestry are elements in cardiac risk for lupus patients New research published in Rheumatology, the worldwide, peer-reviewed scientific journal, has suggested that systemic lupus erythematosus individuals of African descent and from lower socioeconomic groupings face a higher risk of main cardiac disease. However, those taking anti-malarial medicines reduce their risk . The study found that 14 percent of sufferers experience cardiac problems as a result of the auto-immune disorder within five years of medical diagnosis. Using information for an international cohort greater than 1,400 individuals from 34 centres across nine Latin American countries, the analysis tracked patients who were newly identified as having SLE between 1997 and 2005.