Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are often interested in which diets to follow. Our aim was to investigate which dietary habits were common among our patients, and which of them were in correlation with laboratory parameters of disease activity, such as complement values and 24-h proteinuria. This study included 76 patients with SLE in clinical remission with a 6-month flare free period. They completed a specialized, self-administered, 23-item food frequency questionnaire about their weekly dietary habits. Basic anthropometric data, levels of C3 and C4, and 24-h proteinuria were recorded and analyzed with respect to their dietary habits. The majority of patients had a normal body mass index of 18.5-25 kg/m, and worked out regularly. The most frequently consumed foods reported by the patients were fruits, milk, vegetables, meat, pasta, rice, and bread. Decreased values of C3 were found in 34 (44.7%) patients, and decreased values of C4 in 28 (36.8%) patients. Decreased values of C3 were found in patients who often consumed meat ( = .015), and decreased values of C4 in patients who often consumed fast food ( = .043). Patients who often consumed fast food demonstrated a decreasing trend of C3 ( = .060), and patients who often consumed fried food had a decreasing trend of C4 ( = .051). Significant correlation between daily proteinuria and dietary habits was not found. Dietary habits can influence the disease course of SLE. Our study confirms that decreased levels of complement compounds C3 and C4, which are possible predictors of disease activation, are associated with frequent consumption of low quality proteins and food rich in calories.
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