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Stress as a trigger of disease flares in SLE

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Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus were asked to report their perceptions as to whether stress can trigger disease flares. A total of 54 patients treated at two District General Hospitals in Essex were included in the analysis. They were 4 males and 50 females and were 20 Caucasians, 22 Asians, and 12 Africans/Afro-Caribbean. Thirty-three of 54 patients (61.1%) reported stress to be a trigger for disease flares. Although most (85%) of the Caucasian patients reported that stress triggered their disease flares, only 50% of the African/Afro-Caribbean patients and 45.4% of the Asian patients reported stress as a trigger for disease flares. No correlation was found between reported number of flares per year and characteristics such as age (P = 0.4), age at diagnosis (P = 0.8), age at disease onset (P = 0.6), or disease duration (P = 0.2). A trend towards a significant correlation was observed between the number of reported flares per year and the number of children a patient has (P = 0.07).

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Correspondence to E. Roussou.

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Roussou, E., Iacovou, C., Weerakoon, A. et al. Stress as a trigger of disease flares in SLE. Rheumatol Int 33, 1367–1370 (2013).

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