Comment and perspective
“Comorbidities that are not appropriate to the general population, compared to SLE,” seem to have been included in the overall SLE and the cutaneous lupus analyses, Raquel Faria, MD, suggested.
Dr. Faria, an internal medicine consultant at Unidade de Imunologia Clínica – Centro Hospitalar Universitário Porto (Portugal), chaired the poster discussion session in which the two studies had been presented.
She wondered if the researchers had analyzed the data while accounting for “the comorbidities that you knew are due to activity in lupus, like anemia?”
The number of patients with SLE who had pulmonary circulation disorders – 7.5% vs. 0.2% of the general population – also caught Dr. Faria’s attention.
That’s “a really huge number,” Dr. Faria pointed out, “I think it is pretty overrepresented.”
Dr. Duarte García acknowledged that they “took a very broad approach” in using a “very large comorbidity index.”
“What we were observing initially is precisely what you’re mentioning,” he responded to Dr. Faria.
“We were pulling patients who were having disease manifestation rather than a comorbidity,” Dr. Duarte-García said.
These are initial and very exploratory data, he stressed. “We have now moved on to modify the index.” Some of the changes that they have made were to incorporate the SLICC Damage Index Score and tighten up the list of ICD codes used.
No outside funding was received for either of the studies. Dr. Duarte García and Dr. Hocaoglu individually stated that they had no actual or potential conflicts of interest in relation to their presentations.
A version of this article first appeared on.