Association of African-American ethnicity and smoking status with total and individual damage index in systemic lupus erythematosus
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Smoking has been associated with increased incidence, severity of cutaneous lupus, and lupus activity. We looked at the association of both smoking and ethnicity with the individual damage items from the SLICC/ACR Damage Index.
Poisson regression was used to model the total SLICC/ACR Damage Index score against ever smoking. Cox regression was used to assess the relationship between time to individual damage items and ever smoking. Furthermore, we compared SLICC/ACR Damage Index items among African-American and Caucasian ever smokers.
The study included 2629 patients, 52.6% Caucasian and 39.3% African-American. The prevalence of ever smokers was 35.8%. There was no significant difference in total SLICC/ACR Damage Index score between ever smokers and never smokers after adjustment for ethnicity, gender, age at diagnosis, and years of education. Ever smokers had more atherosclerotic cardiovascular damage and skin damage compared to non-smokers. Caucasian SLE patients who ever smoked were more likely to have muscle atrophy and atherosclerosis compared to Caucasian non-smokers. African-American patients who ever smoked were more likely to have skin damage compared to African-American non-smokers. African-Americans who smoked were more likely to have many more damage items (cataract, renal damage, pulmonary hypertension, cardiomyopathy, deforming or erosive arthritis, avascular necrosis, skin damage, and diabetes) compared to Caucasians who smoked.
• This study is the largest cohort study to date evaluating the effect of smoking on the cumulative SLICC/ACR Damage Index and its individual damage items.
• It is the only study that examined the effect of smoking on individual items of the SLICC/ACR Damage Index in terms of Caucasians vs. African-American ethnicity.
• Our analysis proved the major effect of smoking on cardiovascular and cutaneous damage. Compared to non-smokers, Caucasian smokers had higher risk of cardiovascular damage while African-American smokers had more skin damage.
• African-Americans who smoked were more likely to have many more damage items (cataract, renal damage, pulmonary hypertension, cardiomyopathy, deforming or erosive arthritis, avascular necrosis, skin damage, and diabetes) compared to Caucasians who smoked.
KeywordsEthnicity SLICC/ACR Damage Index Smoking Systemic lupus erythematosus
Compliance with ethical standards
All patients gave written informed consent before taking part in the Hopkins Lupus Cohort. The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Institutional Review Board approved the Hopkins Lupus Cohort on an annual basis.
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