Objective: To determine the most common causes of death among Puerto Ricans with systemic lupus erythematosus.
Methods: Chart and record review of all deaths related to SLE complications from 1960 to 1994 at the University of Puerto Rico Hospital.
Results: Out of 662 patients diagnosed with SLE 161 (24%) died. There were 151 (94%) females and 10 (6%) males. Mean duration of disease was 11.5 years. Mean age at death was 37 years. The primary causes of death were infection in 44 (27%), uremia in 42 (26%), cardiovascular complications in 33 (20%), central nervous system complications in 18 (11%), and pulmonary complications (other than infectious pneumonia) in 12 (7%).
Conclusions: The most common causes of death in SLE were infections and renal disease.