Ehizogie Edigin, MD, Discusses Racial Disparities Found in SLE Study

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Research results shows that while overall hospitalization for SLE flare decreased, it increased among African American patients.

Ehizogie Edigin, MD, Internal Medicine, John H Stroger Jr Hospital of Cook County, presented a study at the American College of Rheumatology 2021 Convergence. His study was titled, "Hospitalization for SLE Flare has Reduced over 2 Decades in the United States: A Longitudinal Population-based Study".

In this study, investigators found that the incidence of hospitalization for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) flare had decreased. However, when looking specifically at the African American population, systemic lupus erythematosus flare has increased.

"I would say this is the most significant finding of this study," Edigin said.

African Americans are at increased risk of hospitalization for SLE flare to begin with, Edigin explained. There's a higher prevalence of lupus in the African American population as well as increased incidence of severe manifestations of lupus nephritis.

Additionally, there are social-economic factors that come into play for this population. Edigin explained that they may be more likely to be uninsured, they may be less likely to have access to primary or specialty care.

There's the possibility that there's a lower health literacy among this population, which would make managing a chronic disease like SLE very difficult as it takes lifetime management.

More studies should be done to investigate the racial trends found in this research and also examine hospitalization outcomes, Edigin said.