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Increasing Hospitalization Rates for Shingles in Lupus

An administrative claims study of lupus patients drawn from the United States National Inpatient Sample between 2000 to 2011, studied hospitalization rates related to bacteremia, pneumonia, opportunistic fungal infection, herpes zoster, cytomegalovirus, or pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP).

From a total of 361,337 SLE hospitalizations, SLE patients who were hospitalized were more likely to be younger (51 vs. 62 years), female (89% vs. 54%), and include racial/ethnic minorities.

The diagnosis of SLE was significantly associated with all measured severe and opportunistic infections. From 2000 to 2011, adjusted SLE hospitalization rates for herpes zoster increased 54 to 79 per 10,000 SLE hospitalizations (compared with 24 to 29 per 10,000 non-SLE admissions). SLE hospitalizations for PCP disproportionately decreased: 5.1 to 2.5 per 10,000 SLE hospitalizations during this same era.

It is unclear if these trends reflect changes in lupus activity or the drugs used to treat lupus over this 10 year period. 

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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