Objective: To determine whether racial disparities exist with regard to the age at which patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) experience cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD-associated death.
Methods: Using the 2003-2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, we calculated the age difference between patients with SLE and their race- and sex-matched controls at the time of hospitalization for a cardiovascular event and for CVD-associated death. In addition, we calculated the age difference between white patients with SLE and sex-matched controls for each minority group for the same outcomes.
Results: The mean age difference between women with and those without SLE at the time of admission for a CVD event was 10.5 years. All age differences between women with SLE (n = 3,627) and women without SLE admitted for CVD were significant (P < 0.0001). Among different racial groups with SLE, black women were the youngest to be admitted with CVD (53.9 years) and to have a CVD-associated in-hospital death (52.8 years; n = 218). Black women with SLE were 19.8 years younger than race- and sex-matched controls at the time of CVD-associated death. Admission trends for CVD were reversed for black women, such that the highest proportions of these patients were admitted before age 55 years, and then the proportions steadily decreased across age categories. Among the 805 men with SLE who were admitted with a CVD event, those who were black or Hispanic were youngest.
Conclusion: There are significant racial disparities with regard to age at the time of hospital admission for CVD events and CVD-related hospitalization resulting in death in patients with SLE.