Characteristics, management, outcomes and cost of systemic lupus erythematosus in New Zealand

Researchers: Dr Chunhuan Lao & Professor Ross Lawrenson

Arthritis New Zealand

Very little is known about the epidemiology of lupus in New Zealand, and there is no information on the ethnic difference on incidence, prevalence, treatment and outcomes of Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the major type of lupus.

This project demonstrates that:

  • Pacific people had the highest incidence and prevalence of SLE, more than three times the rates for Europeans/others.
  • Men, Māori, and Pacific patients with SLE were more likely to develop end-stage kidney failure.
  • Compared with the general population, SLE patients were four times more likely to die.
  • Māori patients with SLE had worse survival than other ethnic groups.

We are now investigating whether there is disparity in access to treatment which might have led to the outcome difference.