Research Finds Decline in Deaths Due to Lupus Nephritis
Lupus nephritis (LN) is a serious and sometimes fatal complication of lupus caused by inflammation in the kidneys, making them unable to properly remove waste from the blood or control the amount of fluids in the body. Investigation of end-stage renal disease due to LN revealed a decline in deaths among white, African American and Hispanic people with lupus in more recent years. The death rate declined from 11.1% in 1995-1999 to 6.7% in 2010-2014. Additionally, deaths from cardiovascular disease and infection also declined by 44% and 63% respectively. The findings indicate a positive trend for lupus care.
First researcher, April M. Jorge, MD, Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, shared with us, “This is an encouraging finding of improving outcomes in recent years, and it also parallels improvements in survival among all patients with end-stage renal disease during this time period.”
Committed to increasing early diagnosis and treatment of lupus, the Lupus Foundation of America is funding a five-year study looking at the urine-based protein HER2 as a possible biomarker to pinpoint flares of LN. Earlier studies have shown HER2 to be successful in identifying kidney inflammation. The study is the largest ever conducted to date in LN in children. It holds promise to significantly improve detection of a potentially life-threatening complication of lupus among children and teens.