(HealthDay News) — Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with worse patient-reported systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) outcomes, according to a study published online in Arthritis Care & Research.

Kimberly DeQuattro, MD, from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined the correlation between ACEs and SLE outcomes using data from the California Lupus Epidemiology Study (CLUES). Participants completed a 10-item ACE questionnaire covering the domains of abuse, neglect, and household challenges. ACE prevalence was estimated in 269 CLUES participants and compared to that of 2015 California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) respondents.

The researchers found that overall ACE levels were similar for CLUES and BRFSS respondents, although the specific domains varied. Among SLE patients, 63.2% had at least one ACE and 19.3% had at least 4 ACEs. The prevalence of ACEs was higher among those who were older, women, and Latino or African-American. Respondents without college degrees and those with lupus nephritis also had a higher prevalence of ACEs. There were correlations for higher ACE levels and ACE domains with worse patient-reported SLE activity, depression, and health status in adjusted models; no significant associations were seen with physician-assessed SLE activity, damage, or severity.

“This work in lupus patients supports more broadly the body of studies on adversity and trauma in childhood that have found a link between ACEs and health,” DeQuattro said in a statement.


DeQuattro K, Trupin L, Li J, Katz PP. Relationships Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Health Status in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Arthr Care & Res.