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  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease that causes widespread organ damage and results in significant morbidity and mortality [1].
  • Healthcare disparities are observed at almost all levels in SLE such as in its incidence, prevalence, disease activity, damage accrual, severity of disease manifestations (lupus nephritis -LN), and disease outcomes [1].
  • Funding for diseases that affect primarily women is less than non- or male-gendered diseases, putting SLE at a disadvantage relative to other chronic diseases [1].
  • Patients without insurance or with Medicaid [or Canadian insurance coverage] are likely to have inconsistent or delayed access to specialty rheumatology care which leads to preventable poor outcomes [1].
  • Advocacy is needed at the local, state [or provincial], and national level to adopt policies that allow affordable access to SLE care and medications [1].
  • Life stressors have demonstrated a negative effect on SLE disease activity and outcomes [1].
  • Increased morbidity and mortality persists in SLE, indicating that several unmet needs impact the optimal management of the disease. Among the most significant are the excessive diagnosis delay and the common lack of coordinated care [2].
  • Both diagnosed and undiagnosed patients with SLE typically present complex problems, often requiring multiple interventions provided concurrently from several partners in their care [2].
  • A number of different potential psychological issues can affect those with SLE; difficulties may arise from the disease itself, which may affect the central nervous system (neuropsychiatric lupus), from the general effects of having a chronic condition with a variable course or from adverse events related to medications [2].
  • AnyORGAN or tissue could be affected by lupus including skin, muscles, joints, blood, lungs, heart, kidneys, and brain—all of them are susceptible to the inflammation caused by this disease [3].
  • Lupus is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation in one or more parts of the body. It belongs in the family of autoimmune diseases which includes rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, juvenile diabetes, and scleroderma. The most common type of lupus is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) [4].


Hasan, B., Fike, A., & Hasni, S. (2022, November). Health disparities in systemic lupus erythematosus—a narrative review. Clinical Rheumatology, 41(11), 3299-3311.

Schlencker A, Messer L, Ardizzone M, et al. Improving patient pathways for systemic lupus erythematosus: a multistakeholder pathway optimisation study. Lupus Science & Medicine 2022;9:e000700. doi:10.1136/lupus-2022-000700

Lupus Canada (2019). Lupus Canada & You.

Lupus Canada (2019). A Guide To Lupus.

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