BOSTON—Kidney involvement stemming from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may be more common in male than female patients, researchers reported at the annual meeting of American College of Rheumatology.


Researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor examined the prevalence of renal involvement in an SLE registry, studying race and gender differences. As part of the ongoing MILES Program, the investigators looked at data related to renal disease from all patients screened for SLE residing in Washtenaw County, Michigan, between 2002 and 2005.

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They used three case definitions of SLE for their analysis: ACR criteria; Boston Weighted criteria (weighted toward renal disease); and clinical judgment of rheumatologist investigators based on ACR criteria plus 40 additional clinical parameters. Only ACR criteria were used to diagnose lupus nephritis.


Based on a rheumatologist’s confirmed diagnosis, the researchers found that nephritis was more prevalent in males. A total of 820 patients were studied. The prevalence of nephritis was 16.9%

among white females versus 28.6% for black females; it was 63.3% for white males and 57.1% for black males. Regardless of how SLE was defined, data showed that renal involvement was more common in males than females.


To date little data are available on the prevalence of SLE and lupus nephritis, said Emily Lewis, project manager for the Lupus Group at the University of Michigan Health System.