Differences in SLE disease activity between patients of Caucasian and South-East Asian/Chinese background in an Australian hospital

Anthony Boers, Qiang Li, Melinda Wong, Marian Miller, Geoff Littlejohn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: We performed a semiprospective and retrospective review of all admissions to a single institution of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, admitted due to active disease. The aim was to describe differences in disease activity as a cause of hospital admissions between patients originating from South-East Asia/China (SAC) and Caucasians. Method: There were 210 patients admitted for active disease, with a total of 567 admissions for active SLE over a 16-year period. Allowing for patients who had left our database, there was a total of 3415 patient years of observation. Results: Patients from SAC with a flare requiring admission presented earlier in their disease course and with more active disease than did Caucasians (median SLE Disease Activity Index 13 vs. 8, P = 0.002). They had longer inpatient stays (7 vs. 5.days P = 0.03). There was a trend to higher rates of re-presentation to hospital for flare (59% in SAC patients vs. 41% in Caucasians, P = 0.09) with more subsequent admissions (3 vs. 2 P = 0.06) despite a shorter period of observation. Conclusions: South-East Asian/Chinese were more likely to be diagnosed with class.III/IV glomerulonephritis and require cyclophosphamide both at presentation and subsequent admissions. More patients from SAC were readmitted to hospital for severe central nervous system disease after their first hospital admission. In this population, lupus patients had more severe flares and more frequently required admission for these than Caucasians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-48
Number of pages6
JournalAPLAR Journal of Rheumatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Caucasian
  • Flare
  • Hospitalization
  • South-East Asian
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

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