Objectives To study mortality and causes of death in patients with recent onset systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in Finland.
Methods SLE patients of this study were collected (2000-2007) from the nationwide register on new decisions of special reimbursements for drugs, maintained by Social Insurance Institution (SII) in Finland. Data on deaths of the patients were obtained from the official death certificate statistics of the Statistics Finland until the end of 2008.
Results Of the 599 incident SLE patients, median follow-up time 5.4 (IQR 3.3, 7.1) years, 30 patients (23 females, 7 males), died in the years 2000 through 2008. Mean age at death was 67.8±17.2 years for females and 62.3±15.2 years for males. The 5 -year survival rates were 94.8% (95%CI 92.0 to 96.6%) and 88.2% (95%CI 76.5 to 94.3%), respectively. The age- and sex-adjusted standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was 1.48 (95%CI 1.01 to 2.12). Primary causes of death were cardiovascular diseases, malignancy and SLE itself.
Conclusions Survival of the SLE patients was inferior to that of the general population. Cardiovascular diseases were responsible for 37% of deaths.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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