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Differences in Disease Activity by Onset-Age in People with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

by | Apr 29, 2024

Inside Lupus Research (ILR): Basic Science News

In a new study, people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who developed the disease later in life exhibited notable clinical differences and lower disease activity, however they also have the lowest survival rate. 

A group of 845 people with SLE were studied for up to 45 years. The group was divided into four sub-groups according to age at diagnosis: juvenile SLE (≤18 years); adult SLE (18-49 years); late SLE (50-59 years); and very late SLE (≥60 years). The researchers also noted clinical differences according to age at diagnosis. For people diagnosed at a very late age with SLE they found:

  • Caucasian predominance and less likely to be women 
  • Lowest amount of survival time 
  • Increased likelihood (33.3%) to have oral ulcers 
  • More commonly developed Sjogren’s Syndrome (33.3%) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (13.3%) 
  • Less frequent levels of anti-dsDNA antibodies (26.7%) and low C3 levels (13.3%). 

While very uncommon, the researchers suggest SLE should not be excluded as a possible diagnosis in the elderly. Learn more about diagnosing lupus.

Read the study

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