A multicentre study of 513 Danish patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. II. Disease mortality and clinical factors of prognostic value.
Jacobsen S., Petersen J., Ullman S., Junker P., Voss A., Rasmussen JM., Tarp U., Poulsen LH., van Overeem Hansen G., Skaarup B., Hansen TM., Pødenphant J., Halberg P.
In this Danish multicentre study, predictive clinical factors of mortality and survival were calculated for 513 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 122 of whom died within a mean observation period of 8.2 years equalling a mortality rate of 2.9% per year. Survival rates were 97%, 91%, 76% and 64% after 1, 5, 10 and 15 years, respectively. The direct causes of death included SLE (n = 35), infections (n = 25), malignancy (n = 9), cardiovascular disease (n = 32) and other causes (n = 21). Uni- and multivariate analyses of survival and mortality were performed for all deaths and for SLE-related deaths. Azotaemia (one-fifth of the patients) was a strong predictor of increased overall and SLE-related mortality, but nephropathy per se (one-half of the patients) and large proteinuria (one-sixth of the patients) were unrelated to survival. Haemolytic anaemia had a significant negative influence on survival related to mortality caused by infections. Diffuse central nervous system disease and myocarditis were related to increased SLE-related mortality, whereas photosensitivity predicted a decreased mortality. Non-fatal infections and thrombotic events predicted a decreased overall survival. Since 1980 the mortality caused by SLE manifestations has decreased significantly.