Lupus Flares Directly Impact Both Quality of Life and Family Life
Lupus flares contribute to impaired daily functional and psychological well-being, family role functioning, and number of monthly healthy days, according to people living with the disease. The study of people with lupus also found that gender, income and employment status significantly relate with flare frequency, with women experiencing more flares.
Three assessment tools were used to capture the thoughts of 1,066 people with lupus and/or lupus nephritis. The lupus impact tracker assessed lupus symptoms and each person’s health-related quality of life (HRQoL). A lupus-family questionnaire measured family role functioning, and the Healthy Days Core Module was used to measure overall mental and physical health. More frequent flares were associated with significantly worse scores on all HRQoL measures across all three of the assessment tools. Other findings include:
- BMI increased as number of flares increased, and smoking status, duration of illness and severity of most recent flare also were significantly related to flare frequency
- Use of both steroids and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs medications increased as flares increased
- Respondents with ≥ 1 flare reported significantly lower household income, and fewer were working for pay
- As the frequency of flares increased, the severity of the most recent flare also increased
Better understanding of the burden of flare activity from the patient’s perspective will support a holistic approach to lupus management. This study was supported by the Lupus Foundation of America with grant funding support by Mallinckrodt, a global specialty pharmaceutical company. Learn about lupus flares and how they’re associated with worsened outcomes and increased costs.