Studies show socioeconomic and racial disparities in lupus

Previous research has shown poverty may be implicated in damage associated with lupus, and that adverse pregnancy outcomes are higher in black and Hispanic patients with the disease.
By Amy Wallace  |  May 8, 2017 at 2:31 PM
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May 8 (UPI) -- Researchers have identified a link between socioeconomic and racial disparities in the severity and treatment of lupus.

The studies showed a link between poverty and worse lupus disease-associated medical complications, and an increased frequency of adverse pregnancy outcomes in African American and Hispanic patients with lupus compared to white lupus patients.

The first study was published in Arthritis & Rheumatology and analyzed the effect of poverty on damage to organs in patients with lupus.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, followed 783 patients with lupus from 2003 to 2015, finding poverty was associated with an increased level of accumulated end-organ damage and a 1.67 times increase in having a clinically meaningful increase in damage.

"Persistent poverty and being poor in an area of concentrated poverty seem to worsen the amount of disease damage over time, while exiting poverty may alleviate it," Edward Yellin, a researcher at UCSF, said in a press release. "We have also shown that chronic stress associated with poverty may play an important role in why the poor experience more damage. Such stresses may include having to deal with food, housing, and medical care insecurity."

In the second study published in Arthritis Care & Research, researchers at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, studied rates of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as fetal death, preterm delivery due to preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction by race and ethnicity in 408 women with lupus.

The study showed the frequency of adverse pregnancy outcomes in black and Hispanic women with lupus was about twofold greater than in white women with lupus.

Socioeconomic status was a determinant of pregnancy outcomes among black women and a contributor to disparities in adverse pregnancy outcomes.

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