Objectives The aim of the study was to determine clinical and epidemiologic features of SLE patients in Eastern Croatia during eleven years period.
Methods The study was made retrospectively by exploration patients charts from our department archive as the most reliable source of SLE patients’ data in the region. Initial screening has identified SLE patients in general population, with confirmed diagnosis or patients with high probability of SLE but without confirmed diagnosis, in ten years period between 1.1.1995. and 31.12.2005. Further screening has separated patients with four or more diagnostic criteria, according to American College of Rheumatology revised diagnostic criteria from 1997. Patients who had passed second screening step were thoroughly examined and further selection was made. Patients with SLE as part of mixed collagen tissue disease, patients with discoid lupus, lupus like syndrome or incomplete lupus, and patients who were not residents of Eastern Croatia region, as well as patients who were not regularly controlled were excluded from additional investigation. Demographic data were obtained from Croatian State Institute of Statistics.
Results Of 10.000 reviewed patients charts 228 SLE patients were identified and diagnosis was confirmed by revised ACR diagnostic criteria. 202 were females and 26 males (8:1), with an average age 41,8 years at onset of disease (fulfilling diagnostic criteria). Prevalence of SLE patients in eleven years period for three counties of Eastern Croatia was 36,27/100.000 residents (95% CI 16,1-56,4). The incidence rate of SLE for study period was 2,7/100.000 annually (95% CI 2,08-3,31). In eleven years period only 4 patients died because of SLE and complications related to SLE. The study also included cautious analysis of manifestation for each SLE diagnostic criteria in observed population.
Conclusions This study was the first epidemiological study of SLE in Croatia. Results were generally comparable to previous similar studies in other European countries. A few differences could be explained by unequal methodology used in different studies or some specific features of observed population. Our results might be the groundwork for further investigations in Croatia and Europe.
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Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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