HealthDay News — Systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) is among the top 20 leading causes of death in females between the ages of 5 and 64 years in the United States, according to a study published online April 18 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Eric Y. Yen, MD, and Ram R. Singh, MD, both from the University of California at Los Angeles, used the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research database in order to identify female death counts. The authors obtained data on the leading causes of death from the web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System database. They noted that SLE is not currently included on the CDC’s annual leading-causes-of-death ranking based on a selected list of 113 causes. 

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The researchers found that from 2000 to 2015, there were 28,411 female deaths with SLE recorded as the underlying or contributing cause of death. For females between 5 and 64 years of age, SLE ranked among the top 20 leading causes of death; it ranked 10th for those aged 15 to 24 years, 14th for those aged 25 to 34 years and 35 to 44 years, and 15th for those aged 10 to 14 years. After three common external injury causes of death were excluded from the analysis, among black and Hispanic females, SLE ranked fifth for those aged 15 to 24 years, sixth for those aged 25 to 34 years, and eighth to ninth for those aged 35 to 44 years.

“SLE is among the leading causes of death in young women, underscoring its impact as an important public health issue,” the authors write.

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