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Lupus. 2001;10(6):439-44.

Systemic lupus erythematosus in Aborigines and Caucasians in central Australia: a comparative study.

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Department of Medicine, Northern Territory Clinical School of Medicine of Flinders University, Alice Springs, Australia.


The objective of this study was to determine whether there are differences in the prevalence, clinical and laboratory manifestations, and morbidity and mortality of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) between Aborigines and Caucasians in Central Australia. The medical records of all patients diagnosed with SLE upto December 1999 were reviewed retrospectively. Prevalence of SLE was 1:1360 for Aborigines and 1:5170 for Caucasians. The prevalences of malar rash, discoid rash, photosensitivity, oral ulcers, pleuritis, anticardiolipin antibodies and lupus anticoagulant were higher in Caucasians than in Aborigines. The prevalences of anti-Sm antibody and anti-RNP antibody were higher in Aborigines than in Caucasians. These differences did not attain statistical significance. There was a low prevalence of renal disease in Aborigines and Caucasians. Mortality was low in Aborigines and nil in Caucasians. Although there is a high prevalence of SLE in Aborigines in Central Australia, renal involvement and mortality are low.

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