Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic disease with a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations and infections are a leading cause of morbidity and premature mortality in patients with SLE. Findings from previous studies may be limited because of small sample sizes and using prevalent cohorts. To evaluate the risk of severe infection and infection-related mortality among patients with newly diagnosed SLE. We conducted an age- and gender- matched cohort study of all patients with incident SLE using administrative health data from British Columbia, Canada. Primary outcome was the first severe infection after SLE onset. Secondary outcomes were total number of severe infections and infection-related mortality. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard and Poisson models were used to evaluate the association of SLE with the outcomes, adjusting for confounders. The findings suggest SLE is associated with increased risks of first severe infection, a greater total number of severe infections and infection-related mortality.
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Thesis advisor: Xie, Hui
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