FM is a major contributor to quality of life in lupus

– OBJECTIVE; To determine whether individual variables of the

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI)

and Systemic Lupus International Coordinating

Committee/American College of Rheumatology (SLICC/ACR) Damage

Index were associated with any of the domains of the Short

Form 36 (SF-36) quality of life measure, and to assess the

contribution of fibromyalgia (FM) to the quality of life


METHODS: Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

(SLE) seen between December 1994 and May 1995 completed SF-36

questionnaires at the time of their clinical evaluations at

the Lupus Clinic. Disease activity was measured by SLEDAI,

damage was assessed by the SLICC/ACR Damage Index, and FM was

diagnosed in the presence of widespread pain and > or = 11 of

18 FM tender points. The components of SLEDAI and the Damage

Index were compared to the domains of the SF-36 using Pearson

correlation coefficients. A t test was used to compare the

variables in patients with and without FM.

RESULTS: One hundred nineteen patients with SLE participated in the study.

Presence of FM, which occurred in 21% of the patients, was not

related to either the overall scores or any of the components

of SLEDAI or Damage Index, but was highly correlated with all

8 domains of the SF-36. The correlations ranged from -0.26 to

-0.43, with associated p values of 0.007 to 0.0001.

CONCLUSION: In a cross sectional study of patients with SLE at

one point in time the SF-36 reflected the presence of FM

rather than disease activity or damage.

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