Objective: The long-term impact of childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in adult SLE patients in comparison to those with adult-onset SLE is unknown. We aim to examine and compare HRQoL trajectories in adults with adolescent- and adult-onset SLE. Methods: Patients enrolled in the LUpus in MInorities: NAture versus Nurture cohort were included. Adolescent-onset SLE were those diagnosed before 24 years of age, and adult-onset SLE were those diagnosed otherwise. Sociodemographic, clinical, medications, behavioral/psychological, and functioning data were obtained. Longitudinal trajectories of the physical component summary (PCS) and the mental component summary (MCS) Short Form 36 health survey scores were compared between the groups using a linear mixed model accounting for time-dependent and independent covariates. Results: A total of 470 SLE patients were included (95 with adolescent-onset SLE and 375 with adult-onset SLE). The mean ± SD age at diagnosis was 19.7 ± 2.8 years in the adolescent group and 39.3 ± 11.0 years in the adult group. The baseline PCS scores were higher (better physical functioning) in adolescent-onset SLE than in adult-onset SLE (38.9 versus 34.3, respectively; P < 0.001); however, the baseline MCS scores were comparable between the groups (41.4 versus 40.5, respectively; P = 0.53). The HRQoL improved equally in both groups with no statistically significant difference within and between the groups (last mean PCS and MCS scores 43.9 and 45.3 in adolescent-onset SLE; 38.1 and 43 in adult-onset SLE). Conclusions: Adults with adolescent-onset SLE exhibited better physical functioning than those in the adult SLE group, despite more severe disease; noteworthy, HRQoL was below the general US population, despite clinically meaningful improvement in HRQoL over time in both groups.
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