Although systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has traditionally been considered a disease of women, men may also be affected. Thirty of 261 patients (12%) with SLE seen in this hospital were men. Arthritis was less common as a first symptom in the men, although this group of patients had discoid lesions and serositis more often than the women. During the follow up a lower incidence of arthritis and malar rash and a higher incidence of other skin complications including discoid lesions and subcutaneous lupus erythematosus was found in the men. The incidence of nephropathy, neurological disease, thrombocytopenia, vasculitis, and serositis, was similar in the two groups. No significant immunological differences were found between men and women. These features indicate that several gender associated clinical differences may be present in patients with SLE.
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