Certain Factors of Treatment and Disease Activity Can Lead to Serious Infections in People with Lupus
Infections are the second most common major cause of illness and death for people with lupus. Medications used to treat systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are associated with infections. Researchers investigated factors predictive or protective of serious infections over time in people with SLE.
A group of 1,243 people with SLE enrolled in the Latin American cohort, Grupo Latino Americano De Estudio del Lupus, were studied. They found that prednisone doses higher than 15 mg/day, use of methylprednisolone pulses, increase in disease activity (flares) and damage accrual are predictive of serious infections over time, while antimalarial use for more than six months protects against development of infection. Lower socioeconomic status was also a predictive factor.
While infections are an important cause of mortality in people with lupus, the study suggests factors such as treatment and disease activity, among others, may play a main role and could be potentially altered for better outcomes. Learn about lupus and your risk of infections.