Low Disease Activity In People with Lupus Results in Lower Healthcare Costs and Other Benefits
Disease activity (flares) fluctuates in people with lupus, and defining the optimum target state to which to escalate treatment is an emerging area of research. In a first-of-its-kind Australian study, researchers investigated the lupus low disease activity state (LLDAS) in persons with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), reviewing whether attaining the LLDAS treat to target endpoint impacted on high healthcare utilization and costs.
A group of 200 people with SLE were observed for 2 years. Overall, 51% of those in the group spent ≥50% of the observation period in LLDAS. Using clinical data and actual hospital cost data, the researchers estimated a mean annual direct medical hospital cost of $7,413 USD per patient per year.
The researchers found LLDAS was associated with reduced direct healthcare costs. Spending ≥50% of the observation period in LLDAS was associated with a 25.9% reduction in annual direct medical costs, suggesting that using LLDAS as a treatment target in SLE may be associated with reduced healthcare costs that could potentially offset the cost of treatments used to reach this state. In contrast, several factors were associated with increased annual cost of SLE, including renal involvement and the presence of baseline organ damage.
Eric F. Morand, senior investigator, Professor of Medicine, Monash University, and member of the Global Advisory Committee for The ALPHA Project, said ‘This finding adds to evidence that LLDAS attainment is associated with improved organ damage, quality of life, and mortality outcomes. LLDAS is now increasingly well-validated as a treatment endpoint in SLE’
Targeting a low disease activity state provides benefits to patient care as well as outcomes and may result in significantly reduced healthcare costs. Learn about lupus disease activity.