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In Males with Childhood-Onset Lupus, Kidney Involvement and Kidney Disease Relapse are Common

by | Jun 13, 2022

Males with childhood-onset lupus (cSLE) often experience early and severe kidney involvement, and while many respond favorably to treatment, kidney disease relapse is common. Only about 20% of people with lupus are diagnosed during childhood, and just 10% of people with lupus are male. The latest study findings help shed more light on a relatively small subset of the lupus population, drawing from a notably large, ethnically diverse study population.

The researchers assessed data from 95 males and 545 females with cSLE over a 30-year period and found that 62% of males and 57% of females developed lupus nephritis (LN, lupus-related kidney disease). Kidney disease class (a measure of disease severity) were similar between the two genders.

Among males, LN occurred within racial and ethnic subgroups at the following rates:

  • Non-Hispanic Whites: 80%
  • Blacks: 64%
  • Hispanics: 59%
  • Asians: 50%

Encouragingly, at a median follow-up of 3.5 years, the majority (70%) of males with cSLE and LN responded well to treatment, showing sustained improvement in kidney function. However, the researchers also observed many (46%) went on to experience a relapse.

Studies have shown that, over time, up to 60% of people with lupus will develop LN, including over half of children with lupus. The latest research findings further highlight the importance of LN monitoring and care, including males with cSLE.

The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) actively supports childhood lupus research. Established in 2006, the LFA’s Michael Jon Barlin Childhood Lupus Research Program calls on some of the greatest minds in the field to address the most urgent challenges in this area of medicine, including lupus kidney disease. Learn more about the impact of lupus in children and teens.

Read the study

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