This study was undertaken to investigate whether recent advances in lupus nephritis treatment have led to changes in the incidence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) secondary to lupus nephritis, or in the characteristics, treatments, and outcomes of patients with lupus nephritis ESRD.
Patients with incident lupus nephritis ESRD (1995–2006) were identified in the US Renal Data System. Trends in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics were assessed. We tested for temporal changes in standardized incidence rates (SIRs) for sociodemographic groups using Poisson regression. Changes in rates of waitlisting for kidney transplant, kidney transplantation, and all-cause mortality were examined using crude and adjusted time-to-event analyses.
We identified 12,344 incident cases of lupus nephritis ESRD. Mean age at ESRD onset was 41 years; 81.6% of the patients were women and 49.5% were African American. SIRs for lupus nephritis ESRD among those who were ages 5–39 years, African American, or lived in the southeastern US increased significantly from 1995 to 2006. Increases in body mass index and in the prevalence of both diabetes mellitus and hypertension were detected. Mean serum hemoglobin level at ESRD onset increased, while that of serum creatinine decreased over time. More patients received hemodialysis and fewer received peritoneal dialysis. There was a slight increase in the frequency of preemptive kidney transplantation at ESRD onset, but kidney transplantation rates within the first 3 years of ESRD declined. Mortality did not change over the 12 years of study.
Our findings indicate that the characteristics of patients with lupus nephritis ESRD and initial therapies have changed in recent years. While SIRs rose in younger patients, among African Americans, and in the South, outcomes did not improve in over a decade of evaluation.