Sherif Gamal1, Hanaa Rady1, Nesreen Sobhy1, Ibrahem Siam2, Ahmed Soliman3, Fatema Elgengehy1

1Department of Rheumatology, Cairo University Faculty of Medicine, Cairo, Egypt
2Department of Internal Medicine, National Research Center Egypt, Cairo, Egypt
3Department of Dermatology and Venereology, National Research Center Egypt, Cairo, Egypt

Keywords: Egyptian patients, mortality, systemic lupus erythematosus.


Objectives: The study aimed to examine the frequency, causes, and predictors of mortality in a cohort of Egyptian systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients and compare mortality causes and the survival rate in our cohort to African, Arabic, and Mediterranean studies.

Patients and methods: In this retrospective study, a review of medical records of 563 SLE patients (516 females, 47 males; median of age: 32 [IQR: 26-38 years]; range, 14 to 63 years) fulfilling the 1997 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria between January 2015 and December 2019 was done. The data extracted included demographic, clinical, and laboratory features, treatments used, disease activity as measured by Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI), and damage index as measured by Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) damage index. Causes of mortality were also reported.

Results: Out of 563 reviewed medical records, 50 (8.9%) patients died. Infection (28%) and organ damage (18%) were the most commonly reported causes of death. Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that patients with cardiac manifestations, renal failure, those receiving higher doses of either oral (in their last visit) or intravenous (higher cumulative pulse steroids) steroids were at increased risk of mortality (p=0.011, p<0.001, p=0.01, and p<0.001, respectively; 95% confidence intervals 7.2, 63.9, 1.2, and 1.09, respectively). The overall survival at 5, 10, 15, and 20 years was 96.6%, 93.3%, 91.0%, and 83.2%, respectively, and 56.2% at 25 years until the end of the follow-up.

Conclusion: Cardiac manifestations, renal failure, and higher steroid doses were independent predictors of mortality in our cohort. As in most African countries, infection was the main cause of death in our study; however, the mortality rate and the five-year survival among our cohort were better than in African (sub-Saharan) countries and similar to Arabic and Mediterranean countries.

Citation: Gamal S, Rady H, Sobhy N, Siam I, Soliman A, Elgengehy F. Mortality in a cohort of Egyptian systemic lupus erythematosus patients: A comparison with African, Arabic, and Mediterranean studies. Arch Rheumatol 2023;38(3):468-476.

Ethics Committee Approval

The study protocol was approved by the National Research Center Ethics Committee (date: 05.08.2021, no: NRC- 2448092021). The study was conducted in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki.

Author Contributions

All authors contributed equally in this work.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.

Data Sharing Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.