Systemic lupus erythematosus--survival patterns. Experience with 609 patients

JAMA. 1981 Mar 6;245(9):934-8. doi: 10.1001/jama.245.9.934.


Six hundred nine private patients with systemic lupus erythematosus were followed up for a mean of ten years. Ninety percent were female; 79% were white. Three hundred sixty-nine received diagnosis before 1970, and 234 after. Three hundred seventy-nine did not have nephritis; 230 did. The overall ten-year survival was 79% (87% without nephritis, 65% with nephritis). Male patients did consistently worse than female patients. No overall white vs nonwhite difference was noted. The presence of nephrotic syndrome at the onset of nephritis was a poor prognostic sign, but its development later was not. Patients younger than 16 years without nephritis have an excellent prognosis. One hundred twenty-eight patients died (82 with nephritis, 46 without nephritis). The most common causes of death were renal disease and sepsis. Improved survival of this series may reflect closer follow-up, better nutritional status, and treatment at earlier stages of disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / mortality*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephritis / complications
  • Nephritis / mortality
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / complications
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / mortality
  • Sex Factors