People with Lupus Cite Fatigue and Pain as Their Most Significant Symptoms
At this year’s European League Against Rheumatism virtual conference, scientists confirmed that fatigue, joint stiffness and pain are the most common patient-reported symptoms among people with lupus, impacting multiple measures of health-related quality of life, especially related to emotional health, pain and vitality, and lupus medications. Fatigue was cited as both the most common and the most bothersome symptom.
The survey included 500 people with lupus. And while most participants reported struggling with fatigue (69%), recent pain (60%), joint stiffness (57%), sleep problems (55%), joint pain/swelling (53%) and muscle pain (52%), the majority of people rated their overall condition as either good (38%) or fair (31%). The survey also assessed respondents’ treatment patterns and found fewer than half of those surveyed were using lupus therapies, including anti-malarials, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants and anti-inflammatory medications. Even fewer (19%) were using advanced biologic therapies.
These latest results come from the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus – Understanding Preferences, Disease Activity and Treatment Expectations (SLE-UPDATE) survey. The findings are an update to the earlier UNVEIL study, a collaborative research effort by the Lupus Foundation of America and Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY). The findings underscore how fatigue and pain significantly burden those living with lupus, and further research is needed to help solve for the inadequacies in treatment and management of these commonly experienced lupus symptoms.