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Dedicated to increasing awareness about
systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), disease activity and related organ damage


The diverse clinical manifestations of SLE are the result of inflammation in affected organ systems; as a result SLE symptoms are highly varied.1 Organ damage is a significant patient burden that is one of the most important correlates with morbidity and mortality.1,2

There are several contributing factors to organ damage3,4 — age, female sex, ethnicity — but persistent disease activity has been linked to increased organ damage, which in turn is predictive of increased damage and mortality.5

As organ damage takes its toll on a patient's body, all aspects of their lives can be affected. SLE has a considerable impact on a patient's quality of life, including their psychosocial well-being, interpersonal relationships, and productivity.6

In addition, hospitalizations are common and 1 in 6 patients are often readmitted within 30 days.7-9


This slide deck discusses the path to diagnosis of SLE, pathogenesis of the disease, impact on patients, and how to best support patients.

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What Next?

Organ damage begins to accrue early with 33% to 50% of patients showing evidence of damage in the first 5 years following diagnosis.10,11

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1. American College of Rheumatology Ad Hoc Committee on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Guidelines. Guidelines for referral and management of systemic lupus erythematosus in adults. Arthritis Rheum. 1999;42(9):1785-1796. Accessed February 14, 2017. 2. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services. Lupus: A Patient Care Guide for Nurses and Other Health Professionals. 3rd ed. Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; 2006. NIH publication 06-4262. Accessed February 14, 2017. 3. Howard CH, Mayhew SL. The pharmacist's role in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus. US Pharm. 2006;5:39-48. Accessed February 14, 2017. 4. Pons-Estel GJ, Alarcón GS, Scofield L, et al. Understanding the epidemiology and progression of systemic lupus erythematosus. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2010;39(4):257. Accessed February 14, 2017. 5. Doria A. et al. Optimizing outcome in SLE: treating-to-target and definition of treatment goals. Autoimmun Rev. 2014;13(7):770-7. Accessed February 14, 2017. 6. Boomsma MM, Bijl M, Stegeman CA, et al. Patients' perceptions of the effects of systemic lupus erythematosus on health, function, income, and interpersonal relationships: a comparison with Wegener's granulomatosis. Arthritis Rheum. 2002;47:196-201. Accessed February 14, 2017. 7. Panopalis P, Yazdany J, Gillis JZ, et al. Health care costs and costs associated with changes in work productivity among persons with systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum. 2008;59(12):1788-1795. Accessed February 14, 2017. 8. Yazdany J, Marafino BJ, Dean ML, et al. Thirty-day hospital readmissions in systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum. 2014;66(10):2828-2836. Accessed February 14, 2017. 9. Bernatsky S, Boivin JF, Joseph L, et al. Mortality in systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum. 2006;54(8):2550-2557. Accessed February 14, 2017. 10. Chambers SA, Allen E, Rahman A, et al. Damage and mortality in a group of British patients with systemic lupus erythematosus followed up for over 10 years. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2009;48(6):673-5. Accessed February 14, 2017. 11. Urowitz MB, Gladman DD, Ibañez D, et al. Evolution of disease burden over five years in a multicenter inception systemic lupus erythematosus cohort. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2012;64(1):132-7. Accessed February 14, 2017.