Rheumatology International

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 153–157 | Cite as

The Sarawak lupus cohort: clinical features and disease patterns of 633 SLE patients in a single tertiary centre from East Malaysia

  • C. L. Teh
  • G. R. Ling
  • Wan Sharifah Aishah
Short Communication


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has been well studied in West Malaysian populations but lacking in East Malaysian populations. The aim of this study was to examine the clinical features and disease patterns of patients with SLE in a multiethnic East Malaysian population in Sarawak. All SLE patients who were treated in Sarawak General Hospital were reviewed in a retrospective longitudinal study using a standard protocol from 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2013. There were a total of 633 patients in our study with the female to male ratio of 12:1. Our study patients were of multiethnic origins with predominant Chinese ethnic group. They had a mean age of 36.9 ± 13.2 years and a mean duration of illness of 7.2 ± 6.0 years. The main involvements were haematological (74.2 %), malar rash (64.0 %) and renal (58.6 %). Chinese patients were less likely to have discoid lupus, pleuritis and pericarditis, while Malay patients were more likely to have arthritis. Bidayuh patients were more likely to have oral ulcer. Secondary antiphospholipid syndrome was more common in Chinese. The majority of patients were in clinical remission with low SDI. There were 58 deaths (9.2 %) during 2006–2013 with the main causes of death being flare of disease and infection.


Systemic lupus erythematosus Mortality Malaysia 



This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors. We would like to acknowledge the support of the Ministry of Health, Malaysia for technical support of the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rheumatology Unit, Department of MedicineSarawak General HospitalKuchingEast Malaysia

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