Effect of ethnicity on clinical presentation and risk of antiphospholipid syndrome in Roma and Caucasian patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: a multicenter cross-sectional study

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Abstract

Aim

To determine if there are ethnic differences in the prevalence of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), clinical presentation and autoantibody profile between Roma and Caucasian patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Method

A cross-sectional study was conducted including data from Roma and Caucasian SLE patients consecutively attending six hospitals in Spain. Socio-demographic characteristics, prevalence of APS, clinical and analytical features of SLE and APS were compared between ethnic groups.

Results

Data from 52 Roma and 98 Caucasian SLE patients were included. Roma SLE patients had a higher risk (odds ratio 2.56, 95% CI 1.02–6.39) and prevalence of APS (28.8% vs. 13.3%, P = 0.027). Furthermore, Roma SLE patients had a statistically significant higher prevalence of abortions (23.5% vs. 10.2%, P = 0.049). In relation to other APS diagnostic criteria, Roma SLE patients had a non-statistically significant higher prevalence of fetal deaths (14.3% vs. 5.1%, P = 0.106) and thrombotic events (21.1% vs. 12.2%, P = 0.160). In relation to SLE clinical features, Roma patients had a significantly higher prevalence of arthritis (75% vs. 57.1%, P = 0.034) and non-significant higher prevalence of serositis (44.2% vs. 29.6%, P = 0.104), discoid lesions (11.5% vs. 5.1%, P = 0.191), oral ulcers (46.1% vs. 34.7%, P = 0.218) and livedo reticularis (21.1% vs. 15.3%, P = 0.374). No statistically significant differences were found in the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics Damage Index or the autoimmune serological profile.

Conclusion

Prevalence and risk of APS were significantly higher in Roma SLE patients. Furthermore, Roma patients had a significantly higher prevalence of abortions and a non-significant higher prevalence of fetal deaths and thrombotic events.

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