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author:("stefansson, K")
1.  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.
To examine change in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in association with clinical outcomes of neuropsychiatric (NP) events in SLE.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3795436  PMID: 21342917
Systemic lupus erythematosus; Neuropsychiatric; Inception cohort; Health related quality of life; SF-36
3.  Atherosclerotic Vascular Events in a Multinational Inception Cohort of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) 
Arthritis care & research  2010;62(6):881-887.
To describe vascular events during an 8 year follow-up in a multicentre SLE inception cohort and their attribution to atherosclerosis.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2989413  PMID: 20535799
4.  Prospective Analysis Of Neuropsychiatric Events In An International Disease Inception Cohort of SLE Patients 
Annals of the rheumatic diseases  2009;69(3):529-535.
To determine the frequency, accrual, attribution and outcome of neuropsychiatric (NP) events and impact on quality of life over 3 years in a large inception cohort of SLE patients.
The study was conducted by the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics. Patients were enrolled within 15 months of SLE diagnosis. NP events were identified using the ACR case definitions and decision rules were derived to determine the proportion of NP disease attributable to SLE. The outcome of NP events was recorded and patient perceived impact determined by the SF-36.
There were 1206 patients (89.6% female) with a mean (±SD) age of 34.5±13.2 years. The mean disease duration at enrollment was 5.4±4.2 months. Over a mean follow-up of 1.9±1.2 years 486/1206 (40.3%) patients had ≥1 NP events which were attributed to SLE in 13.0%–23.6% of patients using two a priori decision rules. The frequency of individual NP events varied from 47.1% (headache) to 0% (myasthenia gravis). The outcome was significantly better for those NP events attributed to SLE especially if they occurred within 1.5 years of the diagnosis of SLE. Patients with NP events, regardless of attribution, had significantly lower summary scores for both mental and physical health over the study.
NP events in SLE patients are variable in frequency, most commonly present early in the disease course and adversely impact patients’ quality of life over time. Events attributed to non-SLE causes are more common than those due to SLE, although the latter have a more favourable outcome.
PMCID: PMC2929162  PMID: 19359262
Lupus; Neuropsychiatric; Prospective; Inception cohort
5.  Mannan‐binding lectin and complement C4A in Icelandic multicase families with systemic lupus erythematosus 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2006;65(11):1462-1467.
To determine whether low mannan‐binding lectin (MBL) and C4A null alleles (C4AQ0) are associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in multicase families with SLE.
Low MBL level was determined by measuring serum levels and by genotyping for mutant structural (B/C/D, designated as 0) and promoter (LX) alleles (by real‐time polymerase chain reaction). C4AQ0 was detected by protein electrophoresis and corroborated with haplotype and genotype analysis. In nine Icelandic families, 24 patients with SLE were compared with 83 first‐degree and 23 second‐degree relatives without SLE. Twenty four unrelated family members and a population group of 330 Icelanders served as controls.
Overall, the frequency of low MBL genotypes (0/0, LX/0 and wild‐type/0) tended to be higher in patients with SLE than in their first‐degree and second‐degree relatives (p = 0.06), but the frequency was similar in the families and in the controls (p = 0.6). The frequency of C4AQ0 was, however, increased in patients and their relatives compared with that in the controls (p = 0.04). The combination of low MBL genotypes and C4AQ0 was found more often in the patients than in their relatives (p = 0.03) and controls (p = 0.02). However, low MBL level was observed only in patients and first‐degree relatives in five of the nine multicase families. In these five families, patients with SLE had low MBL genotypes more often (64%) than their first‐degree (38%) and second‐degree (0%) relatives (p = 0.001), and the patients with SLE also had, accordingly, lower MBL levels than their relatives (p = 0.001).
These findings indicate that low MBL levels can predispose people to SLE and highlight the genetic heterogeneity of this disease.
PMCID: PMC1798340  PMID: 16439442
6.  Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in systemic lupus erythematosus 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2005;64(10):1507-1509.
Objectives: To describe demographic factors, subtypes, and survival of patients with SLE who develop NHL.
Methods: A multi-site cohort of 9547 subjects with definite SLE was assembled. Subjects at each centre were linked to regional tumour registries to determine cancer cases occurring after SLE diagnosis. For the NHL cases ascertained, descriptive statistics were calculated, and NHL subtype frequency and median survival time of patients determined.
Results: 42 cases of NHL occurred in the patients with SLE during the 76 948 patient-years of observation. The median age of patients at NHL diagnosis was 57 years. Thirty six (86%) of the 42 patients developing NHL were women, reflecting the female predominance of the cohort. In the patients, aggressive histological subtypes appeared to predominate, with the most commonly identified NHL subtype being diffuse large B cell (11 out of 21 cases for which histological subtype was available). Twenty two of the patients had died a median of 1.2 years after lymphoma diagnosis.
Conclusions: These data suggest aggressive disease in patients with SLE who develop NHL. Continuing work should provide further insight into the patterns of presentation, prognosis, and aetiology of NHL in SLE.
PMCID: PMC1755239  PMID: 16162903
7.  A study of the association of HLA DR, DQ, and complement C4 alleles with systemic lupus erythematosus in Iceland 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1998;57(8):503-505.
OBJECTIVE—To perform an exploratory analysis of the relative contribution of single MHC genes to the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in a homogenous white population.
METHODS—MHC class II alleles and C4 allotypes were determined in 64 SLE patients and in ethnically matched controls. HLA-DR and DQ typing was performed by polymerase chain reaction amplification with sequence specific primers. C4 allotypes were determined by agarose gel electrophoresis.
RESULTS—The frequency of C4A*Q0 was significantly higher in patients than in controls (46.9% v 25.3%, p=0.002). HLA-DRB1, DQA1, and DQB1 alleles in the whole group of SLE patients were not significantly different from those of controls. On the other hand increase in DRB1*03 was observed in the group of patients with C4A*Q0, as compared with patients with other C4A allotypes (p=0.047). There was no significant correlation between severe and mild disease, as judged by the SLEDAI, and HLADR, DQ alleles and comparing the patients with C4A*Q0 with those with other C4A allotypes there was no significant difference regarding clinical manifestations.
CONCLUSION—The results are consistent with the argument that C4A deficiency contributes independently to susceptibility and the pathogenesis of SLE. C4A*Q0 in SLE patients in Iceland shows weaker linkage disequilibrium with DR3 genes than reported in most other white populations and emphasises the role of ethnicity.

 Keywords: systemic lupus erythematosus; HLA; C4 allele; disease associations
PMCID: PMC1752717  PMID: 9797559
8.  Systemic sclerosis in Iceland. A nationwide epidemiological study. 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1994;53(8):502-505.
OBJECTIVES--To investigate the incidence, prevalence and clinical features of systemic sclerosis (SS) in Iceland. METHODS--All patients diagnosed with SS from 1975-90 were included. Retrieval for the study began in 1980 and was carried out by computerised search from registers of all hospitals and health care clinics and death registration files, and with personal communication with doctors in Iceland. RESULTS--Over a 16 year period from 1975-90, 15 new cases were found with an incidence of 0.7 and 0.05/100,000, for females and males at risk respectively, and 0.38 for both sexes. At the end of 1990 there were 18 patients alive with SS, 13 with limited and five with diffuse cutaneous involvement. The age standardised prevalence was 11.9 and 1.5/100,000 for females and males at risk respectively. The crude prevalence rate for both sexes was 7.1/100,000. There were five deaths, two patients died of SS related causes, one had SS renal disease. The relative risk of death was similar to that in the general population. The calculated five year survival rate was 100% and the 10 year survival rate 81%. No HLA antigen association was found. CONCLUSION--Compared with previous surveys this study shows a low incidence of systemic sclerosis and a high proportion of patients with limited cutaneous involvement.
PMCID: PMC1005388  PMID: 7944633
9.  Cyclosporin A in psoriatic arthritis: an open study. 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1990;49(8):603-606.
Eight patients with psoriatic arthritis entered an open study to determine the efficacy of oral cyclosporin A for their treatment. The starting dose was 3.5 mg/kg daily. Findings after the first six months are reported. One patient withdrew from the study after five months because of tremors, general malaise, and lack of improvement. Seven patients continued through the study, and marked improvement was found after two months in all clinical indices. The skin lesions improved in a parallel fashion. The cyclosporin A dose had to be reduced temporarily by 25% in three patients because of an increase in serum creatinine of more than 50%. A rise in diastolic blood pressure in three patients responded to treatment. The study suggests that cyclosporin A effectively treats arthritic manifestations of psoriasis as well as psoriatic skin lesions.
PMCID: PMC1004173  PMID: 2396865

Results 1-9 (9)