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A population-based assessment of live births in women with systemic lupus erythematosus

Abstract

Objectives The authors aim to calculate the number of live births, before and after systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) diagnosis, in women diagnosed during their reproductive years and to compare this with general population rates.

Methods The authors identified women with SLE using Quebec administrative databases (1 January 1994 to 31 December 2003). The authors determined the number of live births, and calculated the standardised incidence ratio (SIR) of observed to expected live births.

Results 1334 women with SLE were identified. Overall, the number of live births over the interval (559) was below that which would be expected (708) (SIR 0.79; 95% CI 0.73 to 0.86). Compared with the general population, live births were substantially lower after SLE diagnosis (SIR 0.62; 95% CI 0.55 to 0.70) than before diagnosis (SIR 1.01; 95% CI 0.90 to 1.13).

Conclusion After diagnosis, women with SLE have substantially fewer live births than the general population.

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