There is controversy whether older-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is associated with a different, more benign disease course than in younger-onset SLE. Our objective was to characterize the clinical features and prognosis of late-onset SLE in a large, multicenter cohort.
We studied adult-onset lupus in the 1000 Canadian Faces of Lupus cohort (n = 1528) of whom 10.5% had onset at age > or = 50 years versus a control group with onset at < 50 years.
Disease duration was different in early- and late-onset groups (15 yrs in early vs 9.3 yrs in late; p < 0.001). Caucasians were represented more in the later-onset SLE group (55.6% vs 74.5%), while Asians and Blacks were more prevalent in the younger group. Younger-onset SLE subjects fulfilled more American College of Rheumatology criteria for SLE (< 50 yrs: 5.98 +/- 1.68; > or = 50 yrs: 5.24 +/- 1.44; p < 0.0001). Despite an equal prevalence of anti-dsDNA, the younger-onset group more often had positive anti-Smith autoantibody, ribonucleoprotein, and hypocomplementemia, and more nephritis, rash, and cytopenias than the older-onset group. However, disease activity and damage accrual were higher in the older-onset group.
The older patients received less prednisone and immunosuppressives (current and ever-use). As expected, comorbidity was higher in the older-onset SLE group.
This study suggests that older age-onset SLE is not benign.
There may be an interaction between lupus and age in which, although there is less lupus nephritis in the elderly, more disease activity and damage are present.
The Journal of rheumatology
University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.
J Rheumatol. 2010 Jan;37(1):38-44
Español | English
© Galenicom 1999-2013