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Childhood Lupus May Hamper Adult Careers

May 04, 2021 6:21 pm

Long-term outcomes of kids with childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (cSLE) are uncommon, but this cSLE cohort analysis suggests that SLE significantly impacts their future education, vocation, and employment as they reach adulthood.

A cohort of 106 cSLE (93% female, 73% White) patients from the Netherlands were reassessed by EMR, supplemental surveys and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). The median disease duration was 20 years.

Although educational achievements were on par with the Dutch population, nearly half of cSLE patients noted their disease affected their education and half adjusted their vocations due to their disease.

Of those who had finished their education, 44% did not have a paid job. Among the employed patients, 61% only worked part time.

Disease damage did not account for these outcomes as organ damage was equal in the employed and unemployed. Yet, 51% declared to be work disabled, due to disease damage. Unemployment and work disability had a negative effect on HRQOL.

As future adults, kids with SLE may face difficulty with education, vocation, employment and future quality of life. The authors call for ongoing support and guidance as cSLE patients get older and are faced with education and career choices. 

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

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