Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that can affect almost any organ system, including the kidneys. Using a large national dataset, our goal was to compare the morbidity as measured by hospitalization and mortality rates between hemodialysis patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) secondary to SLE to those with ESRD due to other causes. The risk of hospitalization was calculated by Poisson regression with clustering for repeated measures using the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) Hospitalization Analytic File in strata of pediatric and adult patients. Cox proportional hazard ratio was used to assess the mortality risk in hospitalized patients. Subjects were censored at transplantation or end of follow-up. Adult patients with ESRD secondary to SLE were hospitalized more frequently than other adults (incidence rate ratio (IRR): 1.43, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.15-1.77) and had a higher risk of death (hazard ratio (HR): 1.89, 95% CI: 1.66-2.5). Mortality was higher in hospitalized pediatric patients with SLE compared to pediatric patients with other causes of ESRD (HR: 2.01, 95% CI: 1.75-2.31) and adults with SLE (HR: 2.05, 95% CI: 1.79-2.34). Our study demonstrates that there is a trend toward increased hospitalization rates in pediatric and adult patients with SLE. Among these hospitalized patients with SLE, there is an increased risk of death due to cardiovascular disease.
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