To determine trends in survival among adult and paediatric patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) from 1950 to the present.Methods
We performed a systematic literature review to identify all published cohort studies on survival in patients with SLE. We used Bayesian methods to derive pooled survival estimates separately for adult and paediatric patients, as well as for studies from high-income countries and low/middle-income countries. We pooled contemporaneous studies to obtain trends in survival over time. We also examined trends in major causes of death.Results
We identified 125 studies of adult patients and 51 studies of paediatric patients. Among adults, survival improved gradually from the 1950s to the mid-1990s in both high-income and low/middle-income countries, after which survival plateaued. In 2008–2016, the 5-year, 10-year and 15-year pooled survival estimates in adults from high-income countries were 0.95, 0.89 and 0.82, and in low/middle-income countries were 0.92, 0.85 and 0.79, respectively. Among children, in 2008–2016, the 5-year and 10-year pooled survival estimates from high-income countries were 0.99 and 0.97, while in low/middle-income countries were 0.85 and 0.79, respectively. The proportion of deaths due to SLE decreased over time in studies of adults and among children from high-income countries.Conclusions
After a period of major improvement, survival in SLE has plateaued since the mid-1990s. In high-income countries, 5-year survival exceeds 0.95 in both adults and children. In low/middle-income countries, 5-year and 10-year survival was lower among children than adults.