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An evaluation of costs associated with overall organ damage in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus in the United States

Lupus Feb 09, 2022

Organ damage develops in nearly 33%–50% of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) within 5 years of diagnosis. Researchers herein examined SLE patients in the USA to estimate the healthcare resource utilization (HCRU) and costs linked with the development of organ damage in these patients.

  • Using the PharMetrics Plus administrative claims database, researchers conducted a retrospective study (GSK study 208380) of 360,803 patients with a diagnosis of SLE; these comprised 8,952 patients meeting the inclusion criteria for the presence of new organ damage [mean (standard deviation (SD)) age: 46.4 (12.2) years; 92% females].

  • Organ damage most commonly involved following sites: neuropsychiatric (22.0%), ocular (12.9%), and cardiovascular (11.4%).

  • Disease severity and proportion of moderate/severe flare episodes significantly increased from pre- to post-index date.

  • Overall, similar SLE-related medication patterns were observed pre- vs post-index date.

  • From pre- to post-index date, there was an increase in inpatient, emergency department and outpatient claims; 71% higher mean (SD) all-cause costs were recorded post- vs pre-index date ($26,998 [57,982] vs $15,746 [29,637], respectively).

  • Overall findings suggest a profound economic impact of organ damage in patients with SLE and support lowering or preventing organ damage for reducing the burden for patients and healthcare providers.

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