Renal damage in systemic lupus erythematosus: a comparative analysis of different age groups

A Mak, C C Mok, W P Chu, C H To, S N Wong, T C Au
Lupus 2007, 16 (1): 28-34
The objective of this study was to compare the frequency and severity of renal damage in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) with regard to the age of disease onset. Among 287 patients with new onset SLE diagnosed between 1991 and 2003 in our hospital, we identified those who fulfilled the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for renal involvement. Patients were categorized into childhood (age < 16 [corrected] years), adult (between 16 and 50 years) or late onset ( > or = 50 years) SLE. Clinical presentation of renal disease and cumulative renal damage as assessed by the renal domain of the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/ACR damage index (SDI) were compared. A linear regression model was constructed to study the effect of age on renal damage. One-hundred and forty-nine patients were studied (134 women and 15 men), including 28 childhood, 107 adult and 14 late onset SLE patients. The mean age of SLE onset was 29.7 +/- 14 years. The prevalence of renal disease was 53% in childhood onset, 50% in adult onset and 58% in late onset SLE patients (P = 0.66). At renal disease presentation, late onset SLE patients had significantly lower creatinine clearance and were more likely to be hypertensive. Histological classes of nephritis and initial treatment response, however, did not differ significantly among the patients. After a mean observation of 80.3 months, 32 (21%) patients developed renal damage (renal SDI > or = 1). Late onset SLE patients had accrued more renal damage than the others. In a multiple regression model, age was not a significant determinant of renal damage after adjustment for baseline renal parameters, duration of renal disease, use of cyclophosphamide and initial treatment response. We concluded that the prevalence of renal disease was similar among SLE patients of different ages of onset. Late onset SLE patients had accrued more renal damage but age did not correlate with renal damage after adjustment for various clinical parameters.

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