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Lupus Survival Much Improved, But Plateaued

Lupus Survival Much Improved, But Plateaued

Survival rates for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus have plateaued since the middle of the 1990s after a period of major improvement starting in the 1950s.

It has been thought that survival in systemic lupus erythematosus has continued to improve over the years, with reports of survival in adults increasing from 50% in the 1950s to more than 95% in the 1990s.

Data with regard to survival trends in low- and middle-income countries and at 10- and 15-year periods are limited, so Maria Tektonidou and fellow researchers in Greece sought to describe mortality trends for children and adults with systemic lupus erythematosus and presented their findings in a recent Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases article.

The study

The authors performed a systematic review of the literature, looking at children and adults with systemic lupus erythematosus. Ultimately included in the final analysis were 171 studies; 125 looked at adult survival rates, 51 at pediatric survival, and 5 at both.


• Studies in high-income countries showed a steady increase in survival from the middle of the 1950s to 1990. Survival rates have remained stable since then.

• Five-year survival in high-income countries is greater than 95% in both adults and children who have systemic lupus erythematosus.

• Five- and 10 year survival was lower for children than adults in low- to middle-income countries.


• Survival in adults with systemic lupus erythematosus has not continued to improve through the 2000s.

• From 2008 to 2016, survival rates for adults with systemic lupus erythematosus in high-income countries at 5, 10, and 15 years were 0.95, 0.89, and 0.82, respectively (95% confidence intervals [CIs], 0.94-0.96, 0.88-0.90, and 0.81-0.83, respectively).


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