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Anxiety and depression lower quality of life in majority of systemic lupus erythematosus patients
Date:6/12/2009

Copenhagen, Denmark, Friday 12 June 2009: 92.8% of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) suffer anxiety and depression which significantly affects both their physical and emotional quality of life (QoL), according to the results of a new study presented today at EULAR 2009, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark. Logistic regression analysis revealed that depression was the most significant factor shown to affect QoL (p=0.015; OR=0.18; CI 95%:0.045-0.72).

In the study, 92.8% (52 of 56) of the patients who were diagnosed with SLE had an element of confirmed neuropsychiatric (NP) involvement (including anxiety, depression, mild cognitive deficits and major NP involvement). Several other conditions that may occur alongside SLE were also shown to influence aspects of QoL (as measured by a selection of health assessment tools), including:

  • Cutaneous (skin) conditions as Raynaud's phenomenon (identified in 37.5% of the patients)
  • Serositis (identified in 8.9% of the patients)
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia (a blood disorder that is a risk factor for coronary artery disease) (identified in 39.3% of the patients)
  • Antiphospholipid antibodies (a disorder of coagulation) (identified in 66.1% of the patients)

Dr Paola Tomietto of the University of Trieste, Italy, who conducted the study, said: "People with SLE experience a range of both psychological and physical symptoms which can negatively impact their quality of life. This study shows that the psychological impact of SLE on quality of life includes elements of anxiety and depression. Thus, clinicians should try to identify and address the presence of mood disorders in their SLE patients in order to improve both their emotional quality of life but and, ultimately, their physical functioning."

56 consecutive SLE patients undertook the Medical Outcome Survey Short Form 36 (SF-36), to assess health-related quality of life,
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Contact: Rory Berrie
eularpressoffice@uk.cohnwolfe.com
44-789-438-6425
European League Against Rheumatism
Source:Eurekalert

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