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Br J Rheumatol. 1994 Dec;33(12):1151-3.

High mortality with systemic lupus erythematosus in hospitalized African blacks.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Natal, South Africa.


This survey was undertaken to determine the clinical spectrum and outcome of SLE in hospitalized African blacks in Durban, South Africa. We reviewed the hospital records of all patients with SLE who were seen during 1984 and 1990. Eighty-five patients were seen and their mean age at diagnosis was 33.3 years. The prevalence of the various diagnostic criteria was as follows: cutaneous, 68%; arthritis, 66%; renal, 65%; serositis, 29%; neuropsychiatric, 21%; haematological, 71%; immunological, 49%; anti-nuclear factor, 98%. Follow up data were not available in many patients but 25 (29%) are known to have died. The commonest causes of death were renal, infection, neurological and cardiac. This survey shows that SLE is being recognized more frequently in African Blacks and is associated with a high mortality.

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