Public Release:  Genealogy may affect clinical differences in systemic lupus erythmatosus patients

European League Against Rheumatism

Rome, Italy, Friday 18 June 2010: The effects of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) may differ based on the individual patient's genealogical heritage, according to results of a new study presented today at EULAR 2010, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Rome, Italy. In particular, the study reinforced differences in SLE phenotype found between Northern and Southern European subpopulations.

Results from a Europe-wide study, involving 1,555 SLE patients from nine European countries, showed that photosensitivity was 9.4% more prevalent among patients from the Northern group (p=0.00056) versus the Southern group, while arthritis was 10.7% more prevalent in patients from the Southern group (p=0.0000017) versus the Northern group. These findings replicated results from previous studies.

"SLE affects 40 people in every 100,000 in Europe , so our study helps us further understand the impact of this complex disease on patients," said Professor Antonio Gonzalez, Rheumatology Unit, Hospital Clinico Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and lead author of the study. Our research reinforces results from previous studies that prove there is evidence of genetic differences between SLE patients from Northern or Southern Europe. Therefore, results from studies in European SLE patients should acknowledge genealogy when reporting clinical differences between patients prior to providing their conclusions."

The study compared 475 SLE patients from Northern Europe (Germany, Hungary, The Czech Republic, The Netherlands, and Slovakia) with 1,080 SLE patients from Southern Europe (Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain). Investigators analysed the prevalence of the following clinical features between the recruiting centres in the Northern and in the Southern subgroups: serositis, immunologic disorder, malar rash, photosensitivity, arthritis, haematologic disorder, antinuclear antibodies and mean age of disease onset.

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Abstract Number: FRI0252

For further information on this study, or to request an interview with the study lead, please do not hesitate to contact the EULAR congress Press Office on the 1st floor in Hall 5 of the Congress Centre during EULAR 2010 or on:
Email: eularpressoffice@uk.cohnwolfe.com
Rory Berrie: Onsite tel: +44 7901 513 297
Caroline Butt: Onsite tel: +44 7789 270 392

About EULAR

  • The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) is the organisation which represents the patient, health professional and scientific societies of rheumatology of all the European nations.
  • In line with The European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS), EULAR defines rheumatology as including rheumatic diseases of the connective tissue, locomotor and musculoskeletal systems.
  • The aims of EULAR are to stimulate, promote, and support the research, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of rheumatic diseases. To this end, EULAR fosters excellence in education and research in the field of rheumatology. It promotes the translation of research advances into daily care and fights for the recognition of the needs of people with rheumatic diseases.
  • EULAR 2010 is set to be the biggest rheumatology event in Europe with over 15,000 scientists, physicians, allied health professionals, and related audiences in attendance from over 100 countries. Over the course of the congress, almost 300 oral and more than 1600 poster abstract presentations will be featured, with 300 invited speaker lectures taking place in more than 140 sessions.
  • To find out more about the activities of EULAR, visit: www.eular.org

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