Lupus is not listed in national mortality rankings, but the disease is one of the leading causes of death in young women in the United States, researchers have reported.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is not among the 113 leading causes of death in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mortality statistics, which are used for planning healthcare policy and resources.
In fact, SLE appears to be the 10th leading cause of death in females 15-24 years of age, and the 5th leading cause of death for black and Hispanic women in that cohort, the researchers found in a population-based study.
“The inclusion of SLE in CDC’s selected list of causes of death for their annual ranking would highlight the importance of this disease as a major cause of death among young women,” researchers Ram R. Singh, MD, and Eric Y. Yen, MD, said in a report on the study appearing in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology.
Recognizing SLE in mortality statistics could influence physician coding, government policy, and research funding, which may eventually help reduce the burden of the disease, according to Dr. Singh, of the Autoimmunity and Tolerance Laboratory in the Division of Rheumatology at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, and Dr. Yen, who is with the Department of Medicine at that institution.
The study was based on data in a CDC database that were extracted from death certificates issued between 2000 and 2015 for females in the United States. In those records, SLE was recorded as an underlying or contributing cause of death for 28,411 females.
Yen EY, Singh RR. Lupus – an unrecognized leading cause of death in young women: population-based study using nationwide death certificates, 2000-2015. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018 Apr 18. doi: 10.1002/art.40512. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/art.40512