Al-Mayouf, S.M. & Al Sonbul, A. Clin Rheumatol (2008) 27: 1159. doi:10.1007/s10067-008-0887-z
The objective of our study was to determine the influence of gender and age of onset on the outcome in Saudi children with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Medical records of children with SLE treated at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center were reviewed. Outcome measures included Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/American College of Rheumatology Damage Index score (SLICC/ACR), renal disease requiring dialysis, or transplant and death related to SLE. Patients were classified based on age at disease onset into early onset (<5 years) and late onset (>5 years). Data were analyzed, and comparison was made according to the gender and age groups. Eighty-nine patients (76 female and 13 male) were included. The median disease duration was 5 years. Twelve patients had early-onset disease. There was no difference in the mean age, age at diagnosis, disease duration, and follow-up between the different groups. Logistic regression analysis showed significant association of high SLICC/ACR score with early-onset disease and male gender, while renal disease requiring dialysis and renal transplant was associated significantly with male gender independently of age of disease onset. In contrast, death related to SLE was influenced by early-onset disease. Male children and early onset disease of this cohort had poorer outcome. This finding indicates that gender and early-onset disease influence the long-term outcome of SLE in children.