Trends in deaths from systemic lupus erythematosus--United States, 1979-1998

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2002 May 3;51(17):371-4.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a serious autoimmune disease of unknown etiology that can affect several organs. Because SLE affects connective tissues and because painful joints and arthritis are among its most common manifestations, this disease is classified with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. SLE is one of the more fatal forms of rheumatic diseases and non-Causcasian race is a risk factor for death from SLE; however, trends in death from SLE have not been analyzed recently. To characterize deaths from SLE, CDC reviewed SLE deaths during 1979-1998. This report presents the results of that analysis, which indicate that marked age-, sex-, and race-specific disparities exist in SLE death rates and that death rates have increased by approximately 70% during the study period among black women aged 45-64 years. Prevention of deaths requires early recognition and diagnosis of SLE and appropriate therapeutic management.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / mortality*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Distribution
  • United States / epidemiology