Rapid clinical progression to diagnosis among African-American men with systemic lupus erythematosus.
The initial clinical course of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is variable, ranging from relatively minor manifestations progressing over years to rapid onset of fulminate disease. We sought to identify factors associated with the rapid manifestation of SLE. Chart review of military medical records was used to identify 130 patients who met the American College of Rheumatology classification criteria for SLE. Demographics, clinical criteria date of occurrence, and the date of SLE classification (at least four clinical criteria) met were documented. Prospectively stored serum samples prior to the diagnosis were evaluated for SLE autoantibodies. Median time from the first recorded criteria to diagnosis was significantly shorter in African-American (AA) males compared with AA females and European American (EA) females and males combined. AA males were more likely to have nephritis as their first clinical symptom. Also, less time transpired between the first clinical criterion and SLE diagnosis in AA males with nephritis than in other groups presenting with nephritis. Even when cases presenting with nephritis were excluded, a diagnosis of SLE was made more rapidly in AA males. African-American men progress from initial clinical manifestations to SLE diagnosis more rapidly than other ethnic or gender groups.
Arbuckle, MR; James, JA; Dennis, GJ; Rubertone, MV; McClain, MT; Kim, XR; Harley, JB
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