(HealthDay News) — In the United States, Asian and Hispanic patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have lower death rates than whites, blacks, or Native Americans with the disease, according to a study published online January 15 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.
Researchers reviewed Medicaid claims filed by 42,221 SLE patients, aged 18–65, between 2000–2006. Of those patients, 8,191 had lupus nephritis.
By racial/ethnic group, the percentages of patients with SLE or lupus nephritis were: black, 40%; white, 38%; Hispanic, 15%; Asian, 5%; and Native American, 2%. Hispanic and Asian SLE patients had the lowest death rates. The annual death rate was highest among Native Americans, blacks, and whites, in that order.
“In less than three years of follow-up of Medicaid patients with lupus, we found a great disparity in mortality rates among ethnic groups. Understanding the variation of death among the races is important to determine how best to treat individual patients, modify risk factors, and ultimately improve survival for those with lupus,” lead author José Gómez-Puerta, MD, PhD, MPH, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said in a journal news release.