Objective: To determine the relationship between socio-economic status, race, psychosocial factors and outcome in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods: One hundred and ninety-five patients with SLE were studied at two centres in the UK (London and Birmingham). Information about sociodemographics, income, employment status, social support and satisfaction with care was obtained. Outcomes were assessed by end-organ damage, disease activity and employment status.
Results: Non-Caucasian race, longer disease duration, higher disease activity and lower level of education were associated with more organ damage in SLE. More satisfaction with access to care and interpersonal aspects of care, but less satisfaction with time spent with doctors, were also associated with more damage. Very long disease duration was associated with higher disease activity. Patients with higher disease activity, lower level of education and from the Birmingham centre were more likely not to be working due to their lupus.
Conclusion: Race and socio-economic status, as well as clinical and psychosocial factors, determine outcome in SLE.