Effect of gender on clinical presentation in systemic lupus erythematosus

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2013 Dec;52(12):2108-15. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/ket160. Epub 2013 May 2.


The incidence of SLE is markedly increased in females of child-bearing age. Although males are protected in terms of incidence of disease, it is unclear whether a distinct phenotype of male lupus exists in those who do develop SLE. We sought to explore through a detailed literature review whether gender exerts an influence on the clinical presentation and outcome of SLE. We found that males experience less of the typical mucocutaneous and musculoskeletal symptoms commonly present at diagnosis in women. On the other hand, there is limited evidence to support a negative prognostic association between male gender and disease activity or mortality.

Keywords: SLE; lupus nephritis; male gender; outcome measures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Americas / ethnology
  • Asia / ethnology
  • Delayed Diagnosis
  • Europe / ethnology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / diagnosis*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / ethnology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / etiology
  • Lupus Nephritis / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors*