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author:("bernofsky, S")
1.  Lymphoma risk in systemic lupus: effects of disease activity versus treatment 
Annals of the rheumatic diseases  2013;73(1):10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-202099.
Objective
To examine disease activity versus treatment as lymphoma risk factors in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods
We performed case–cohort analyses within a multisite SLE cohort. Cancers were ascertained by regional registry linkages. Adjusted HRs for lymphoma were generated in regression models, for time-dependent exposures to immunomodulators (cyclophosphamide, azathioprine, methotrexate, mycophenolate, antimalarial drugs, glucocorticoids) demographics, calendar year, Sjogren’s syndrome, SLE duration and disease activity. We used adjusted mean SLE Disease Activity Index scores (SLEDAI-2K) over time, and drugs were treated both categorically (ever/never) and as estimated cumulative doses.
Results
We studied 75 patients with lymphoma (72 non-Hodgkin, three Hodgkin) and 4961 cancer-free controls. Most lymphomas were of B-cell origin. As is seen in the general population, lymphoma risk in SLE was higher in male than female patients and increased with age. Lymphomas occurred a mean of 12.4 years (median 10.9) after SLE diagnosis. Unadjusted and adjusted analyses failed to show a clear association of disease activity with lymphoma risk. There was a suggestion of greater exposure to cyclophosphamide and to higher cumulative steroids in lymphoma cases than the cancer-free controls.
Conclusions
In this large SLE sample, there was a suggestion of higher lymphoma risk with exposure to cyclophosphamide and high cumulative steroids. Disease activity itself was not clearly associated with lymphoma risk. Further work will focus on genetic profiles that might interact with medication exposure to influence lymphoma risk in SLE.
doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-202099
PMCID: PMC3855611  PMID: 23303389
2.  Dialogue: what can we learn about the relationship between systemic lupus erythematosus and haematological malignancies from linking disease registries? 
Lupus Science & Medicine  2014;1(1):e000068.
doi:10.1136/lupus-2014-000068
PMCID: PMC4276294  PMID: 25553253
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; Treatment; Disease Activity
3.  Non-Lymphoma Hematological Malignancies in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
Oncology  2013;85(4):10.1159/000350165.
Objective
To describe non-lymphoma hematological malignancies in SLE.
Methods
A large SLE cohort was linked to cancer registries. We examined the types of non-lymphoma hematological cancers.
Results
In 16, 409 patients, 115 hematological cancers (including myelodysplastic syndrome) occurred. Among these, 33 were non-lymphoma. Of the 33 non-lymphoma cases, 13 were of lymphoid lineage: multiple myeloma (N=5), plasmacytoma (N=3), B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia, B-CLL (N=3), precursor cell lymphoblastic leukemia (N=1), and unspecified lymphoid leukemia (N=1). The remaining 20 cases were of myeloid lineage: myelodysplastic syndrome, MDS (N=7), acute myeloid leukemia, AML (N=7), chronic myeloid leukemia, CML (N=2), and 4 unspecified leukemias. Most of these malignancies occurred in female Caucasians, except for plasma cell neoplasms (4/5 multiple myeloma and 1/3 plasmacytoma cases occurred in blacks).
Conclusions
In this large SLE cohort, the most common non-lymphoma hematological malignancies were myeloid types (MDS and AML). This contrasts to the general population, where lymphoid types are 1.7 times more common than myeloid non-lymphoma hematological malignancies. Most (80%) multiple myeloma cases occurred in blacks, which requires further investigation.
doi:10.1159/000350165
PMCID: PMC3880772  PMID: 24107608
Systemic lupus erythematosus; malignancy; cancer
5.  An administrative data validation study of the accuracy of algorithms for identifying rheumatoid arthritis: the influence of the reference standard on algorithm performance 
Background
We have previously validated administrative data algorithms to identify patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) using rheumatology clinic records as the reference standard. Here we reassessed the accuracy of the algorithms using primary care records as the reference standard.
Methods
We performed a retrospective chart abstraction study using a random sample of 7500 adult patients under the care of 83 family physicians contributing to the Electronic Medical Record Administrative data Linked Database (EMRALD) in Ontario, Canada. Using physician-reported diagnoses as the reference standard, we computed and compared the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values for over 100 administrative data algorithms for RA case ascertainment.
Results
We identified 69 patients with RA for a lifetime RA prevalence of 0.9%. All algorithms had excellent specificity (>97%). However, sensitivity varied (75-90%) among physician billing algorithms. Despite the low prevalence of RA, most algorithms had adequate positive predictive value (PPV; 51-83%). The algorithm of “[1 hospitalization RA diagnosis code] or [3 physician RA diagnosis codes with ≥1 by a specialist over 2 years]” had a sensitivity of 78% (95% CI 69–88), specificity of 100% (95% CI 100–100), PPV of 78% (95% CI 69–88) and NPV of 100% (95% CI 100–100).
Conclusions
Administrative data algorithms for detecting RA patients achieved a high degree of accuracy amongst the general population. However, results varied slightly from our previous report, which can be attributed to differences in the reference standards with respect to disease prevalence, spectrum of disease, and type of comparator group.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-216
PMCID: PMC4078363  PMID: 24956925
Rheumatoid arthritis; Health administrative databases; Validation study; Sensitivity and specificity; Predictive values; Diagnostic test
6.  Effect of menopause on the modified Rodnan skin score in systemic sclerosis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2014;16(3):R130.
Introduction
We aimed to evaluate the effect of menopause on skin thickening, as measured by the modified Rodnan skin score (mRSS), in women with systemic sclerosis (SSc).
Methods
We identified women with either limited or diffuse SSc, aged ≥ 18 years, enrolled within the Canadian Scleroderma Research Group (CSRG) cohort, between 2004 and 2011. As part of the CSRG cohort, subjects undergo annual assessments with standardized questionnaires and physical examinations. We performed multivariate regression analyses using generalized estimating equation (GEE) to determine the effect of menopause on the mRSS, adjusting for relevant covariates including notably age, follow-up time, and disease duration.
Results
We identified 1070 women with SSc, contributing a total of 3546 observations over the study period. Of these women, at baseline, 65% had limited disease and 35% diffuse disease. In multivariate analyses, we observed a substantial effect of postmenopausal status on the mean mRSS in women with diffuse disease subtype [−2.62 units, 95% confidence interval (CI) -4.44, −0.80] and significant interaction between menopausal status and disease subtype (2.04 units, 95% CI 0.20, 3.88). The effect of postmenopausal status on the mean mRSS was smaller in women with limited SSc (−0.58, 95% CI −1.50, 0.34).
Conclusions
Our results suggest that menopause has a substantial effect on skin thickening in diffuse SSc, with postmenopausal status being associated with a lower mean mRSS compared to premenopausal status.
doi:10.1186/ar4587
PMCID: PMC4095602  PMID: 24957704
7.  Wait Times for Physical and Occupational Therapy in the Public System for People with Arthritis in Quebec 
Physiotherapy Canada  2013;65(3):238-243.
ABSTRACT
Purpose: Although arthritis is the leading cause of pain and disability in Canada, and physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) are beneficial both for chronic osteoarthritis (OA) and for inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), there appear to be problems with access to such services. The aim of this study was to document wait times from referral by physician to consultation with PT or OT in the public health care system for people with arthritis in Quebec, Canada. Method: Appointments were requested by telephone, using hypothetical case scenarios; wait times were defined as the time between initial request and appointment date. Descriptive statistics were used to examine the wait times in relation to diagnosis, service provider and geographic area. Results: For both scenarios (OA and RA) combined, 13% were offered an appointment within 6 months, 13% offered given an appointment within 6–12 months, 24% were told they would need to wait longer than 12 months, and 22% were refused services. The remaining 28% were told they would require an evaluation appointment for functional assessment before being given an appointment for therapy. No difference was found between RA and OA diagnoses. Conclusions: Our study suggests that most people with arthritis living in the province of Quebec are not receiving publicly accessible PT or OT intervention in a timely manner.
doi:10.3138/ptc.2011-62
PMCID: PMC3740988  PMID: 24403693
arthritis; health services accessibility; rehabilitation; accessibilité aux services de santé; arthrite; réadaptation
8.  Cancer risk in systemic lupus: An updated international multi-centre cohort study 
Journal of autoimmunity  2013;42:130-135.
OBJECTIVE
To update estimates of cancer risk in SLE relative to the general population.
METHODS
A multisite international SLE cohort was linked with regional tumor registries. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated as the ratio of observed to expected cancers.
RESULTS
Across 30 centres, 16,409 patients were observed for 121,283 (average 7.4) person-years. In total, 644 cancers occurred. Some cancers, notably hematologic malignancies, were substantially increased (SIR 3.02, 95% confidence interval, CI, 2.48, 3.63), particularly non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, NHL (SIR 4.39, 95% CI 3.46, 5.49) and leukemia. In addition, increased risks of cancer of the vulva (SIR 3.78, 95% CI 1.52, 7.78), lung (SIR 1.30, 95% CI 1.04, 1.60), thyroid (SIR 1.76, 95% CI 1.13, 2.61) and possibly liver (SIR 1.87, 95% CI 0.97, 3.27) were suggested. However, a decreased risk was estimated for breast (SIR 0.73, 95% CI 0.61–0.88), endometrial (SIR 0.44, 95% CI 0.23–0.77), and possibly ovarian cancers (0.64, 95% CI 0.34–1.10). The variability of comparative rates across different cancers meant that only a small increased risk was estimated across all cancers (SIR 1.14, 95% CI 1.05, 1.23).
CONCLUSION
These data estimate only a small increased risk in SLE (versus the general population) for cancer over-all. However, there is clearly an increased risk of NHL, and cancers of the vulva, lung, thyroid, and possibly liver. It remains unclear to what extent the association with NHL is mediated by innate versus exogenous factors. Similarly, the etiology of the decreased breast, endometrial, and possibly ovarian cancer risk is uncertain, though investigations are ongoing.
doi:10.1016/j.jaut.2012.12.009
PMCID: PMC3646904  PMID: 23410586
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; Epidemiology; Treatment; Disease Activity
9.  Breast Cancer in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
Oncology  2013;85(2):117-121.
Objective
Evidence points to a decreased breast cancer risk in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We analyzed data from a large multisite SLE cohort, linked to cancer registries.
Methods
Information on age, SLE duration, cancer date, and histology was available. We analyzed information on histological type and performed multivariate logistic regression analyses of histological types according to age, SLE duration, and calendar year.
Results
We studied 180 breast cancers in the SLE cohort. Of the 155 cases with histology information, 11 were referred to simply as ‘carcinoma not otherwise specified’. In the remaining 144 breast cancers, the most common histological type was ductal carcinoma (n = 95; 66%) followed by lobular adenocarcinoma (n = 11; 8%), 15 cancers were of mixed histology, and the remaining ones were special types. In our regression analyses, the independent risk factors for lobular versus ductal carcinoma was age [odds ratio (OR) 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01–1.14] and for the ‘special’ subtypes it was age (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.01–1.10) and SLE duration (OR 1.05, 95% CI 1.00–1.11).
Conclusions
Generally, up to 80% of breast cancers are ductal carcinomas. Though our results are not definitive, in the breast cancers that occur in SLE, there may be a slight decrease in the ductal histological type. In our analyses, age and SLE duration were independent predictors of histological status.
doi:10.1159/000353138
PMCID: PMC3934367  PMID: 23887245
Breast cancer; Systemic lupus erythematosus; Histopathology; Epidemiology
10.  Access to rheumatologists among patients with newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis in a Canadian universal public healthcare system 
BMJ Open  2014;4(1):e003888.
Objectives
Our objective was to estimate the percentage of patients with incident rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were seen by a rheumatologist within 3, 6 and 12 months of suspected diagnosis by a family physician, and assess what factors may influence the time frame with which patients are seen.
Setting
Ontario, Canada.
Participants
Over 2000–2009, we studied patients with incident RA who were initially diagnosed by a family physician.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
We assessed secular trends in rheumatology encounters and differences between patients who received versus did not receive rheumatology care. We performed hierarchical logistic regression analyses to determine whether receipt of rheumatology care was associated with patient, primary care physician and geographical factors.
Results
Among 19 760 patients with incident RA, 59%, 75% and 84% of patients were seen by a rheumatologist within 3, 6 and 12 months, respectively. The prevalence of initial consultations within 3 months did not increase over time; however, access within 6 and 12 months increased over time. Factors positively associated with timely consultations included higher regional rheumatology supply (adjusted OR (aOR) 1.35 (95% CI 1.13 to 1.60)) and higher patient socioeconomic status (aOR 1.18 (95% CI 1.07 to 1.30)). Conversely, factors inversely associated with timely consultations included remote patient residence (aOR 0.51 (95% CI 0.41 to 0.64)) and male family physicians (aOR 0.88 (95% CI 0.81 to 0.95)).
Conclusions
Increasing access to rheumatologists within 6 and 12 months occurred over time; however, consultations within 3 months did not change over time. Measures of poor access (such as proximity to and density of rheumatologists) were negatively associated with timely consultations. Additional factors that contributed to disparities in access included patient socioeconomic status and physician sex.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003888
PMCID: PMC3913026  PMID: 24486677
Rheumatology
11.  Malignancies in systemic lupus erythematosus 
Autoimmunity reviews  2009;9(4):10.1016/j.autrev.2009.07.004.
The purpose of this review is to underline important advancements in the understanding of cancer risks in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In SLE, there is an increased risk of specific kinds of malignancy. For example, the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is increased several-fold in SLE versus the general population. In addition, heightened risks for lung cancer, thyroid cancer and cervical dysplasia in SLE have been found. Some have postulated that immunosuppressive drugs play a role, as well as other important mediators, such as lupus disease activity itself. One new frontier being explored is the significant finding of a decreased risk of certain nonhematologic cancers (e.g., breast, ovarian, endometrial and prostate) in SLE. The reasons for this are currently under study.
doi:10.1016/j.autrev.2009.07.004
PMCID: PMC3880771  PMID: 19643208
cancer; immunosuppressive drug; malignancy; risk; systemic lupus erythematosus
12.  Cancer risk in childhood-onset systemic lupus 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(6):R198.
Introduction
The aim of this study was to assess cancer incidence in childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods
We ascertained cancers within SLE registries at 10 pediatric centers. Subjects were linked to cancer registries for the observational interval, spanning 1974 to 2009. The ratio of observed to expected cancers represents the standardized incidence ratio (SIR) or relative cancer risk in childhood-onset SLE, versus the general population.
Results
There were 1020 patients aged <18 at cohort entry. Most (82%) were female and Caucasian; mean age at cohort entry was 12.6 years (standard deviation (SD) = 3.6). Subjects were observed for a total of 7,986 (average 7.8) patient-years. Within this interval, only three invasive cancers were expected. However, 14 invasive cancers occurred with an SIR of 4.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.6 to 7.8. Three hematologic cancers were found (two non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, one leukemia), for an SIR of 5.2 (95% CI 1.1 to 15.2). The SIRs stratified by age group and sex, were similar across these strata. There was a trend for highest cancer occurrence 10 to 19 years after SLE diagnosis.
Conclusions
These results suggest an increased cancer risk in pediatric onset SLE versus the general population. In absolute terms, this represents relatively few events. Of note, risk may be highest only after patients have transferred to adult care.
doi:10.1186/ar4388
PMCID: PMC3978586  PMID: 24267155
13.  SF-36 summary and subscale scores are reliable outcomes of neuropsychiatric events in systemic lupus erythematosus 
Annals of the rheumatic diseases  2011;70(6):961-967.
Objective
To examine change in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in association with clinical outcomes of neuropsychiatric (NP) events in SLE.
Methods
An international study evaluated newly diagnosed SLE patients for NP events attributed to SLE and non-SLE causes. Outcome of events was determined by physician-completed 7-point scale and compared to patient-completed SF-36 questionnaires. Statistical analysis used linear mixed-effects regression models with patient specific random effects.
Results
274 patients (92% female; 68% Caucasian), from a cohort of 1400, had ≥ 1 NP event where the interval between assessments was 12.3 ± 2 months. The overall difference in change between visits in mental component summary (MCS) scores of the SF-36 was significant (p<0.0001) following adjustments for gender, ethnicity, center and previous score. A consistent improvement in NP status (N=295) was associated with an increase in the mean(SD) adjusted MCS score of 3.66(0.89) in SF-36 scores. Between paired visits where NP status consistently deteriorated (N=30), the adjusted MCS score decreased by 4.00(1.96). For the physical component summary (PCS) scores the corresponding changes were +1.73(0.71) and −0.62(1.58) (p<0.05) respectively. Changes in SF-36 subscales were in the same direction (p<0.05; with the exception of role physical). Sensitivity analyses confirmed these findings. Adjustment for age, education, medications, SLE disease activity, organ damage, disease duration, attribution and characteristics of NP events did not substantially alter the results.
Conclusion
Changes in SF-36 summary and subscale scores, in particular those related to mental health, are strongly associated with the clinical outcome of NP events in SLE patients.
doi:10.1136/ard.2010.138792
PMCID: PMC3795436  PMID: 21342917
Systemic lupus erythematosus; Neuropsychiatric; Inception cohort; Health related quality of life; SF-36
14.  Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Validation Studies on a Diabetes Case Definition from Health Administrative Records 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e75256.
Objectives
Health administrative data are frequently used for diabetes surveillance. We aimed to determine the sensitivity and specificity of a commonly-used diabetes case definition (two physician claims or one hospital discharge abstract record within a two-year period) and their potential effect on prevalence estimation.
Methods
Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, we searched Medline (from 1950) and Embase (from 1980) databases for validation studies through August 2012 (keywords: “diabetes mellitus”; “administrative databases”; “validation studies”). Reviewers abstracted data with standardized forms and assessed quality using Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS) criteria. A generalized linear model approach to random-effects bivariate regression meta-analysis was used to pool sensitivity and specificity estimates. We applied correction factors derived from pooled sensitivity and specificity estimates to prevalence estimates from national surveillance reports and projected prevalence estimates over 10 years (to 2018).
Results
The search strategy identified 1423 abstracts among which 11 studies were deemed relevant and reviewed; 6 of these reported sensitivity and specificity allowing pooling in a meta-analysis. Compared to surveys or medical records, sensitivity was 82.3% (95%CI 75.8, 87.4) and specificity was 97.9% (95%CI 96.5, 98.8). The diabetes case definition underestimated prevalence when it was ≤10.6% and overestimated prevalence otherwise.
Conclusion
The diabetes case definition examined misses up to one fifth of diabetes cases and wrongly identifies diabetes in approximately 2% of the population. This may be sufficiently sensitive and specific for surveillance purposes, in particular monitoring prevalence trends. Applying correction factors to adjust prevalence estimates from this definition may be helpful to increase accuracy of estimates.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075256
PMCID: PMC3793995  PMID: 24130696
15.  Derivation and Validation of Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics Classification Criteria for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2012;64(8):2677-2686.
Objective
The Systemic Lupus Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) revised and validated the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) SLE classification criteria in order to improve clinical relevance, meet stringent methodology requirements and incorporate new knowledge in SLE immunology.
Methods
The classification criteria were derived from a set of 702 expert-rated patient scenarios. Recursive partitioning was used to derive an initial rule that was simplified and refined based on SLICC physician consensus. SLICC validated the classification criteria in a new validation sample of 690 SLE patients and controls.
Results
Seventeen criteria were identified. The SLICC criteria for SLE classification requires: 1) Fulfillment of at least four criteria, with at least one clinical criterion AND one immunologic criterion OR 2) Lupus nephritis as the sole clinical criterion in the presence of ANA or anti-dsDNA antibodies. In the derivation set, the SLICC classification criteria resulted in fewer misclassifications than the current ACR classification criteria (49 versus 70, p=0.0082), had greater sensitivity (94% versus 86%, p<0.0001) and equal specificity (92% versus 93%, p=0.39). In the validation set, the SLICC Classification criteria resulted in fewer misclassifications (62 versus 74, p=0.24), had greater sensitivity (97% versus 83%, p<0.0001) but less specificity (84% versus 96%, p<0.0001).
Conclusions
The new SLICC classification criteria performed well on a large set of patient scenarios rated by experts. They require that at least one clinical criterion and one immunologic criterion be present for a classification of SLE. Biopsy confirmed nephritis compatible with lupus (in the presence of SLE autoantibodies) is sufficient for classification.
doi:10.1002/art.34473
PMCID: PMC3409311  PMID: 22553077
16.  Prostate cancer in systemic lupus erythematosus 
Our research objective was to estimate prostate cancer risk in systemic lupus (SLE), relative to the age-matched general population. A progressive literature review was performed to identify SLE cohort studies with cancer registry linkage for cancer ascertainment. Data were pooled from four studies of large SLE cohorts who met these criteria. The total number of prostate cancers observed was derived by pooling the incident cases across all studies. The total expected number of prostate, derived from applying appropriate general population cancer incidence data to the observed number of patient-years of follow-up for each study, was similarly determined. The parameter of interest was the standardized incidence ratio (SIR), the ratio of observed to expected malignancies.
The four studies together provided a pool of 6,068 male SLE patients observed for a total of 38,186 patient years (mean 6.3 years). Within these subjects, 80 prostate cancers observed. In each contributing study, the number of cancers expected far exceeded that observed. The pooled SIR estimate for prostate cancer risk in males with SLE, compared to the general population, was 0.72 (95% CI 0.57, 0.89).
These data suggest a decreased risk of prostate cancer in SLE; more definite conclusions require additional data. Since alterations in androgen pathways can potentially alter prostate risk, a lower risk of prostate cancer in SLE could possibly be due to low hypoadrenergic states which some believe may occur in men with SLE; underlying genetic factors could also be at play. Further study of these issues in large cohorts is needed.
doi:10.1002/ijc.25956
PMCID: PMC3203250  PMID: 21448902
Systemic lupus erythematosus; malignancy; prostate cancer
23.  Breast, ovarian, and endometrial malignancies in systemic lupus erythematosus: a meta-analysis 
British Journal of Cancer  2011;104(9):1478-1481.
Background:
An increased lymphoma risk is well documented in systemic lupus (SLE). Less attention has been focused on women's cancers, even though SLE affects mostly females. Our objective was to estimate the risk of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers in SLE, relative to the general population.
Methods:
Data were included from five recent studies of large SLE cohorts. The number of cancers observed was determined for each cancer type. The expected number of malignancies was ascertained from general population data. The parameter of interest was the standardised incidence ratio (SIR), the ratio of observed to expected malignancies.
Results:
The five studies included 47 325 SLE patients (42 171 females) observed for 282 553 patient years. There were 376 breast cancers, 66 endometrial cancers, and 44 ovarian cancers. The total number of cancers observed was less than that expected, with SIRs of 0.76 (95% CI: 0.69, 0.85) for breast cancer, 0.71 (95% CI: 0.55, 0.91) for endometrial cancer, and 0.66 (95% CI: 0.49, 0.90) for ovarian cancer.
Conclusions:
Data strongly support a decreased risk of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers in SLE. This may be due to inherent differences in women in SLE (vs the general population) regarding endogenous oestrogen, other medications, and/or genetic make-up.
doi:10.1038/bjc.2011.115
PMCID: PMC3101932  PMID: 21487409
systemic lupus; SLE; malignancy
24.  Occupational and environmental exposures and risk of systemic lupus erythematosus: silica, sunlight, solvents 
Rheumatology (Oxford, England)  2010;49(11):2172-2180.
Objectives. We examined occupational and non-occupational exposures in relation to risk of SLE in a case–control study conducted through the Canadian Network for Improved Outcomes in SLE (CaNIOS).
Methods. SLE cases (n = 258) were recruited from 11 rheumatology centres across Canada. Controls (without SLE, n = 263) were randomly selected from phone number listings and matched to cases by age, sex and area of residence. Data were collected using a structured telephone interview.
Results. An association was seen with outdoor work in the 12 months preceding diagnosis [odds ratio (OR) 2.0; 95% CI 1.1, 3.8]; effect modification by sun reaction was suggested, with the strongest effect among people who reported reacting to midday sun with a blistering sunburn or a rash (OR 7.9; 95% CI 0.97, 64.7). Relatively strong but imprecise associations were seen with work as an artist working with paints, dyes or developing film (OR 3.9; 95% CI 1.3, 12.3) and work that included applying nail polish or nail applications (OR 10.2; 95% CI 1.3, 81.5). Patients were more likely than controls to report participation in pottery or ceramics work as a leisure activity, with an increased risk among individuals with a total frequency of at least 26 days (OR 2.1; 95% CI 1.1, 3.9). Analyses of potential respirable silica exposures suggested an exposure–response gradient (OR 1.0, 1.4. and 2.1 for zero, one and two or more sources of exposure, respectively; trend test P < 0.01).
Conclusions. This study supports the role of specific occupational and non-occupational exposures in the development of SLE.
doi:10.1093/rheumatology/keq214
PMCID: PMC2954367  PMID: 20675707
Systemic lupus erythematosus; Risk factors; Silica; Ultraviolet radiation; Solvents; Occupation; Environment
25.  Atherosclerotic Vascular Events in a Multinational Inception Cohort of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) 
Arthritis care & research  2010;62(6):881-887.
Objective
To describe vascular events during an 8 year follow-up in a multicentre SLE inception cohort and their attribution to atherosclerosis.
Methods
Clinical data including co-morbidities are recorded yearly. Vascular events are recorded and attributed to atherosclerosis or not. All events met standard clinical criteria. Factors associated with atherosclerotic vascular events were analysed using descriptive statistics, t-tests and χ2. Stepwise multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the association of factors with vascular events attributed to atherosclerosis.
Results
Since 2000, 1249 patients have been entered into the cohort. There have been 97 vascular events in 72 patients. These include: myocardial infarction (13), angina (15), congestive heart failure (24), peripheral vascular disease (8), transient ischemic attack (13), stroke (23), pacemaker insertion (1). Fifty of the events were attributed to active lupus, 31events in 22 patients were attributed to atherosclerosis, and 16 to other causes. Time from diagnosis to first atherosclerotic event was 2.0 ± 1.5 years. Compared to patients followed for 2 years without atherosclerosis events (615), at enrolment patients with AVE were more frequently Caucasian, male, older at diagnosis of SLE, obese, smokers, hypertensive and had a family history of coronary artery disease. On multivariate analysis only male gender and older age at diagnosis were associated factors.
Conclusion
In an inception cohort with SLE followed for up to 8 years there were 97 vascular events but only 31 were attributable to atherosclerosis. Patients with atherosclerotic events were more likely to be male and to be older at diagnosis of SLE.
doi:10.1002/acr.20122
PMCID: PMC2989413  PMID: 20535799

Results 1-25 (39)