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Systemic lupus erythaematosus in a multiethnic US cohort (LUMINA) LIII: disease expression and outcome in acute onset lupus
  1. A M Bertoli1,
  2. L M Vilá1,
  3. J D Reveille2,
  4. G S Alarcón3,
  5. for the LUMINA study group
  1. 1
    Department of Medicine (Division of Rheumatology), University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  2. 2
    Department of Medicine (Division of Rheumatology), University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas, USA
  3. 3
    Department of Medicine (Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology), School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
  1. L M Vilá, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, PO Box 365067, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-5067; lvila{at}


Objective: To determine the features associated with acute onset systemic lupus erythaematosus (SLE).

Methods: A total of 631 SLE patients from LUMINA (for “lupus in minority populations: nature vs nurture”), a multiethnic (Hispanics, African–Americans and Caucasians) cohort, were studied. Acute disease onset was defined as the accrual of ⩾4 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for the classification of SLE in ⩽4 weeks. Socioeconomic demographic features, clinical manifestations, disease activity, damage accrual, mortality, autoantibodies, HLA class II and FCGR alleles, behavioural/psychological variables were compared between patients with acute and insidious disease onset by univariable (χ2 and Student t test) and multivariable (stepwise logistic regression) analyses.

Results: A total of 94 (15%) patients had acute disease onset. In the multivariable analysis, patients with acute onset lupus had more renal involvement (odds ratio (OR) = 1.845, 95% CI 1.076–3.162; p = 0.026) and higher disease activity (OR = 1.057, 95% CI 1.005–1.112; p = 0.030). By contrast, age (OR = 0.976, 95% CI 0.956–0.997; p = 0.025), education (OR = 0.901, 95% CI 0.827–0.983, p = 0.019), health insurance (OR = 0.423, 95% CI 0.249–0.718; p = 0.001) and skin involvement (OR = 0.346, 95% CI 0.142–0.843; p = 0.019) were negatively associated with acute onset lupus. No differences were found regarding the serological, genetic and behavioural/psychological features; this was also the case for damage accrual and mortality.

Conclusions: Patients with acute onset lupus seem to be younger, have a lower socio-economic status and display more severe disease in terms of clinical manifestations and disease activity. However, intermediate (damage) and long-term (mortality) outcomes appear not to be influenced by the type of disease onset in SLE.

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  • Funding This work was supported by grants from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases #R01-AR42503 (UAB, UTH-HSC), General Clinical Research Centers #M01-RR02558 (UTH-HSC) and M01-RR00032 (UAB), the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR/NIH) RCMI Clinical Research Infrastructure Initiative (RCRII) award #1P20 RR11126 (UPR-MSC) and by an unrestricted educational grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (UPR-MSC).

  • Competing interests: None declared.