2021 Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Fellow
University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, Berkeley
Project Title: Causes of Death Among Minority Populations with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Mentor: Jinoos Yazdany, MD, MPH, Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and the Alice Betts Endowed Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco
Project Summary: This study will examine how various causes of death contribute to mortality in SLE concerning race and ethnicity. The first aim is to determine the leading causes of death among SLE patients in the California Lupus Surveillance Project using death certificate records. The second aim is to examine whether these causes of death among these patients differ by race and ethnicity, including Asian and Hispanic patients. There is a timely and critical need to gain a more holistic understanding of the interconnections between health differences by race and leading causes of death among SLE patients in the U.S. For the past 20 years, studies have increasingly examined – separately – either the leading causes of death in SLE patients or racial differences in health outcomes among SLE patients. However, there is a lack of contemporary studies that examine the leading causes of death for SLE patients by race and ethnicity in the U.S. and virtually none within the Asian-American SLE population. Hispanics and Asians currently comprise 16% and 5% of the U.S. population. Those figures are estimated to increase to 30% and 8% by the year 2050; thus, reliable estimates of the burden of SLE are essential for future health care planning. Studying how various causes of death contribute to mortality in SLE by race and ethnicity will help deepen our understanding of differences in health outcomes among SLE minority populations in the U.S.