Disease remission is associated with improved physical domains of health-related quality of life in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), according to results from a study published in Rheumatology.

Researchers conducted a longitudinal observational cohort study of 154 patients with SLE who were followed-up over a period of at least 2 years. Health-related quality of life was measured using the Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaire, which included both Mental Component Summary (MCS) and Physical Component Summary (PCS) scores. The investigators examined the association between disease remission and health-related quality of life, using descriptive statistics.

After analysis, the researchers found that 39.0% of participants were in remission at baseline. In addition, lower SF-36 scores were seen in patients not in remission compared with those in remission. Furthermore, the researchers reported that higher PCS scores were positively associated with disease remission and employment (P <.001), whereas no significant difference was found in MCS scores between the remission states.

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The primary study limitations included the short duration of follow-up and small sample size.

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“Disease-related factors are mainly determinants of the physical domain of health-related quality of life,” the researchers wrote.

“These results support the relevance…of the Definition of Remission in SLE remission definitions and the further development of a treat-to-target approach in SLE,” they concluded.

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Tsang-A-Sjoe MWP, Bultink IEM, Heslinga M, van Tuyl LH, van Vollenhoven RF, Voskuyl AE. The relationship between remission and health-related quality of life in a cohort of SLE patients [published online December 4, 2018]. Rheumatology. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/key349