No Good News for Lupus Patients' Kidneys

End-stage renal disease from lupus nephritis still a problem

(RxWiki News) In recent years, treatment for lupus nephritis (kidney damage caused by lupus) has gotten better. Yet outcomes for many patients with the disease still do not look good.

End-stage renal disease (complete, or almost complete, kidney failure) caused by lupus nephritis is becoming more common among young patients and African Americans.

"Kidney failure is becoming more common among lupus patients."

Between 1995 and 2006, the type of patients getting end-stage renal disease from lupus nephritis changed. Even though there are now more treatment options, patients are still as likely to die from the condition as they were 12 years ago, the study's authors write.

This is especially not good news for those populations in which end-stage renal disease from lupus nephritis is on the rise.

For their study, Karen H. Costenbader, M.D., from Harvard University, and colleagues looked at 12,344 cases of end-stage renal disease caused by lupus nephritis.

They found that there was a significant increase in end-stage renal disease caused by lupus nephritis among patients between five and 39 years of age, African Americans, and patients from the southeastern United States.

The number of kidney transplants happening within the first three years of end-stage renal disease went down. Death rates caused by the condition did not change in the 12-year course of the study.

The authors conclude that despite recent improvements for treating end-stage renal disease and lupus nephritis, the end-result for patients has not improved.

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Review Date: 
June 14, 2011