Cross-sectional analysis of the differences between patients with systemic lupus erythematosus in England, Brazil and Sweden

A E Johnson, F S Cavalcanti, C Gordon, O Nived, R G Palmer, G Sturfelt, N J Viner, P A Bacon

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32 Citations (Scopus)


This study is a cross-sectional analysis of the differences between SLE outpatients seen in Rheumatology departments at University centres in England, Brazil and Sweden, using a standard protocol. The demographic characteristics, extent and activity of disease of 209 patients with SLE were studied; 112 patients were seen in England, 33 in Brazil and 64 in Sweden. The median age of disease onset of Brazilian and English patients was 25 years and of Swedish patients 31.5 years. Disease activity was measured by the BILAG index. In most systems Brazilian patients experienced more activity than English patients and English patients more activity than Swedish patients. Non-Caucasians experienced more active disease than Caucasians. No sex or occupational differences were observed in disease activity. English patients were the most likely to have experienced photosensitivity, oral ulcers and haematological disorders, Brazilian patients renal disorders and Swedish patients discoid rashes. Brazilian patients were the most likely to be prescribed only one drug for treatment of SLE and to be taking steroids and the highest dose of steroids, in contrast to the European patients who were often prescribed steroids and an antimalarial agent or azathioprine. The results of this cross-sectional assessment of disease activity using a standardized instrument indicate that there are real differences in the extent and degree of activity of SLE in different national groups. This reflects a combination of genetic, environmental and social influences on disease expression and has implications for treatment and monitoring of SLE patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-6
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1994


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brazil
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • England
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sweden


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