June 03, 2015
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Residual disease activity lingers in patients with SLE

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Active disease was common among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, with 35% displaying active disease symptoms after a mean of 11 years, according to research from Christine A. Peschken MD, MSc, FRCPC, and colleagues presented at the Canadian Rheumatology Association Annual Meeting.

The researchers studied 1,454 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a mean age of 44 years, a mean age at diagnosis of 33.2 years and a mean disease duration of 10.6 years. Of the patients studied, 90.3% were women, 66.8% were white and 81.7% completed high school. Six hundred fifty-five of the patients had low disease activity at baseline, whereas 228 had moderate disease activity, 318 were considered active and 193 were considered highly active.

Christine A. Peschken

Increased disease activity was associated with decreased disease duration for the subgroup with highest disease activity. Additionally, the use of prednisone or cyclophosphamide was associated with higher disease activity, whereas the use of antimalarial drugs was associated with lower disease activity. Among the low and moderate disease activity groups, more than half received more than 7.5 mg of prednisone daily.

Damage scores were higher in the subgroups with higher disease activity but were not statistically different between the higher activity groups and the group with lower disease activity. Further, no differences in age, sex or education were observed between the groups, according to the researchers.

The researchers concluded that the percentage of patients with active SLE after 11 years of treatment suggested a need for more optimized treatment in this patient population. - by Shirley Pulawski

Reference:

Peschken C, et al. Poster #33. Presented at: Canadian Rheumatology Association Annual Meeting; Feb. 4-7, 2015; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.