Background: No population-based study has investigated the cumulative incidence of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in patients with newly diagnosed systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or the survival impact of PAH in this population. Method: We used a nationwide database in Taiwan and enrolled incident SLE patients between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2013. The cumulative incidence of PAH in the SLE patients and the survival of these patients were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Potential predictors of the development of PAH were determined using a Cox proportional hazards regression model. Results: Of 15,783 SLE patients, 336 (2.13%) developed PAH. The average interval from SLE diagnosis to PAH diagnosis was 3.66 years (standard deviation [SD] 3.36, range 0.1 to 13.0 years). Seventy percent of the patients developed PAH within 5 years after SLE onset. The 3- and 5-year cumulative incidence of PAH were 1.2% and 1.8%, respectively. Systemic hypertension was an independent predictor of PAH occurrence among the SLE patients (adjusted hazard ratio 2.27, 95% confidence interval 1.59-2.97). The 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates of SLE patients following the diagnosis of PAH were 87.7%, 76.8%, and 70.1%, respectively. Conclusions: PAH is a rare complication of SLE and the majority of PAH cases occur within the first 5 years following SLE diagnosis. Systemic hypertension may be a risk factor for PAH development in the SLE population. The overall 5-year survival rate after PAH diagnosis was 70.1%.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy