Introduction: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) afflicts young people disproportionately, often at a crucial time in their lives when they are trying to establish relationships, start families and launch careers. As a result, persons with SLE may experience a wide range of physical and psychosocial problems that are not always fully captured by descriptions of the disease’s physiological consequences alone.
Methods: In order to characterize the spectrum of the effects of SLE with regards to disease activity and its impact on the quality of life (QoL), a case control study involving 59 SLE Egyptian patients (mean age 28.6 years, 94.9% females) and 20 healthy controls was undertaken. Disease activity was measured by SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI), and quality of life was measured by Short Form–36 health questionnaire (SF-36).
Results:Mucocutaneous and hematological manifestations were present in most of the patients and arthralgia in half of them. All domains of SF-36 including general health, physical functions, physical limitations, energy/fatigue, emotional well-being, pain, social functions, and health changes
were significantly lower in SLE patients compared to controls. Except for emotional limitations, all domains were correlated with disease activity and low in class IV-V lupus nephritis. Conclusion: Physicians should focus on QoL and how to improve it; health education regarding the negative impact of disease activity on the patients should be given attention. The results of QoL studies help physicians to understand and provide better
support to SLE patients beside rapid meticulous control of disease activity.
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