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Protective effects of antimalarials in Chinese patients with systemic lupus erythematosus
  1. Fan Wang1,
  2. Wei Zhang2,3,
  3. Shiying Wang1,
  4. Wenyou Pan4,
  5. Lin Liu5,
  6. Min Wu6,
  7. Fuwan Ding7,
  8. Huaixia Hu8,
  9. Xiang Ding9,
  10. Hua Wei10,
  11. Yaohong Zou11,
  12. Xian Qian12,
  13. Meimei Wang13,
  14. Jian Wu14,
  15. Juan Tao15,
  16. Jun Tan16,
  17. Zhanyun Da17,
  18. Miaojia Zhang18,
  19. Jing Li19,
  20. Xuebing Feng1,
  21. Lingyun Sun1
  1. 1Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, The Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China
  2. 2Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, The Affiliated Drum Tower Clinical Medical School, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
  3. 3Department of Rheumatology, Nanjing Medical University Affiliated Jiangning Hospital, Nanjing, China
  4. 4Department of Rheumatology, Huaian First People’s Hospital, Huaian, China
  5. 5Department of Rheumatology, Xuzhou Central Hospital, Xuzhou, China
  6. 6Department of Rheumatology, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Changzhou, China
  7. 7Department of Endocrinology, Yancheng Third People’s Hospital, Yancheng, China
  8. 8Department of Rheumatology, Lianyungang Second People’s Hospital, Lianyungang, China
  9. 9Department of Rheumatology, Lianyungang First People’s Hospital, Lianyungang, China
  10. 10Department of Rheumatology, Northern Jiangsu People’s Hospital, Yangzhou, China
  11. 11Department of Rheumatology, Wuxi People’s Hospital, Wuxi, China
  12. 12Department of Rheumatology, Jiangsu Province Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China
  13. 13Department of Rheumatology, Southeast University Zhongda Hospital, Nanjing, China
  14. 14Department of Rheumatology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China
  15. 15Department of Rheumatology, Wuxi TCM Hospital, Wuxi, China
  16. 16Department of Rheumatology, Zhenjiang First People’s Hospital, Zhenjiang, China
  17. 17Department of Rheumatology, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China
  18. 18Department of Rheumatology, Jiangsu Province Hospital, Nanjing, China
  19. 19Department of Rheumatology, Affiliated Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Lingyun Sun; lingyunsun{at} and Dr Xuebing Feng, Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, The Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing 210008, China; fengxuebing{at}

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We read with great interest the article by Müller-Calleja et al1 in which a novel mechanism of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was discovered, which might explain well-established anti-inflammatory effects of antimalarials.2–4 HCQ and chloroquine (CQ), both known as antimalarial drugs, have become fundamental therapeutic elements in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in these decades. However, their specific benefits on organ involvement and long-term outcome remain to be elucidated.

To examine the role of antimalarials in different clinical aspects of Chinese patients with SLE, we retrieved the medical records of 1372 patients with SLE who experienced their first hospitalisation at 26 centres across Jiangsu, an eastern province of China, between January 1999 and December 2009 from a longitudinal SLE database collected by the Jiangsu Lupus Collaborative Group.5 Demographics of the enrolled patients are summarised in table 1. All the patients were followed up in 2015 to check for their survival status. Based on Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, the survival …

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