Patients with SLE frequently hospitalized, rehospitalized
Hospitalization, as well as rehospitalization within a short period of time, is common among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which is often caused by active SLE or infection, a recent study has found.
To determine the frequency of admission of patients with SLE and describe their causes and outcomes, researchers identified all hospitalizations at University Health Network in the periods 2011 to 2012 and 2013 to 2015 with an International Classification of Diseases, 10th ed. Code of M32 (SLE). Patients were classified based on SLE care provider and admission cause using a retrospective chart review.
Researchers used Poisson and linear regressions to determine factors associated with frequency and duration of hospitalizations.
Overall, 247 unique patients with SLE (mean age 43.9 years; 87.4 percent women; disease duration, 13.7 years) were admitted to a hospital a total of 491 times. Incidental causes were most common (35.6 percent), followed by active SLE (21.4 percent) and infection (22.4 percent).
Patients with SLE had an average of 1.6 hospitalizations lasting 8.5 days. Of the hospital admissions, 13 percent resulted in intensive care unit admission and 2.8 percent in death.
An association existed between patient employment and fewer hospitalizations during 2011 to 2015. Antimalarial use correlated with fewer hospital admissions and shorter length of stay during 2011 to 2012. Higher educational level was associated with shorter length of stay. On the other hand, presence of damage correlated with increased hospitalizations.
“Hospitalization occurs in about 10 percent of patients with SLE each year and accounts for most of the direct cost of SLE patient care,” according to researchers.