Rheumatology International

, Volume 39, Issue 12, pp 2069–2075 | Cite as

Changing trends in mortality in systemic lupus erythematosus? An analysis of SLE inpatient mortality at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust from 2007 to 2016

  • Himashi Anver
  • Shirish DubeyEmail author
  • James Fox
Observational Research


The aim of this study was to determine the causes of mortality in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) at the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust over a 10 year period. This was a retrospective study of patients who had died in UHCW NHS Trust between 2007 and 2016, where SLE or lupus was mentioned on the death certificate. Ethics approval was obtained from the Research and Development. We identified 22 patients out of 1979 admissions with SLE who had died during the period between 2007 and 2016, 7 of these patients were under 50 years of age. The leading cause of death was infection with pneumococcus being associated with two deaths. Active disease was associated with younger age at death. Median age at death was 58.5 years, with median duration of disease of 14.5 years. Constitutional and mucocutaneous features were the most common items scoring on disease activity, seen in 68.2% and 45.45%, respectively. We identified three patients with biopsy proven lupus nephritis and one patient with CNS lupus. Surprisingly, none of the patients died because of vascular problems. The study suggests a changing trend in SLE mortality with none of the deaths in this cohort being due to cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease. Infection continues to be the biggest reason for mortality in this cohort and greater emphasis is needed on vaccination for preventable infections like pneumococcus.


Systemic lupus erythematosus Lupus Mortality 


Author contributions

All three authors have contributed to study design, data collection, data analysis, and write-up. SD and JF led the initial study design and data collection and SD and HA then led the analysis and write-up. All authors fulfil the ICMJE criteria for authorship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflicts of interest and no relevant disclosures.

Ethics approval

Formal ethics approval was obtained from Research and Development department within UHCW NHS Trust.

Informed consent

Written consent has not been obtained from individual patients, as this was not needed as per the ethics approval. No personal identifiable information has been collected for the study. As this is a retrospective study about patients who have died, informed consent is not possible.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept of RheumatologyPortsmouth Hospitals TrustPortsmouthUK
  2. 2.University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS TrustCoventryUK
  3. 3.LiverpoolUK

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