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OBJECTIVE: In a longitudinal cohort study, we investigated whether clinical and serological manifestations at the time of classification of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) were predictive of subsequent development of incident proteinuria as a biomarker of incident lupus nephritis. METHODS: Patients fulfilling SLE classification criteria but having no proteinuria prior to or at the time of classification were included. Data on SLE manifestations, vital status, criteria-related autoantibodies, and SLE-associated medications were collected during clinical visits and supplemented by chart review. HR were calculated by Cox regression analyses. RESULTS: Out of 850 patients with SLE, 604 had not developed proteinuria at the time of SLE classification. Of these 604 patients, 184 (30%) developed incident proteinuria following SLE classification. The patients had a median followup of 11 years and 7 months. Younger age and history of psychosis at the time of classification were associated with development of incident proteinuria, just as were lymphopenia (HR 1.49, 95% CI 1.08-2.06), anti-dsDNA (HR 1.38, 95% CI 1.01-1.87), and a high number of autoantibodies (HR 1.26, 95% CI 1.06-1.48). CONCLUSION: The risk of incident proteinuria after onset of SLE was increased by the presence of lymphopenia, anti-dsDNA antibodies, psychosis, younger age, and a high number of autoantibodies at onset.

Original publication




Journal article


J Rheumatol

Publication Date





934 - 941


AUTOANTIBODIES, LUPUS NEPHRITIS, LYMPHOPENIA, PROTEINURIA, SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS, Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Autoantibodies, Child, Child, Preschool, Comorbidity, DNA, Denmark, Female, Humans, Incidence, Longitudinal Studies, Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic, Male, Middle Aged, Proteinuria, Psychotic Disorders, Young Adult