Background and aims Disease burdens in Japanese patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) remain unclear. This study assessed disease burden of Japanese SLE patients with different disease activity in claims database.
Methods This was a retrospective cohort study (No. HO-15–16208) using the Japan Medical Data Centre claims database. Patients aged 15 to 65 years who had an SLE-related visit between April 2010 and March 2012 were identified, their first visit date was set as the index. Direct medical cost, comorbidities and treatments were collected during the three-year period from the index date. Disease severity and flare episode were determined by proxy algorithms defined with steroid dosage change, immunosuppressant use, or appearance of SLE-related symptoms.
Results Among 295 SLE patients identified as the study cohort, disease severity of mild, moderate, and severe was 28, 134, and 133 patients, respectively. Basic characteristics are shown in Table 1. Most patients (282 patients, 95.6%) experienced at least one flare episode and the mean (SD) frequency was 5.5 (3.3) times over the three-year study period. Recorded comorbidities (inflammations, cardiovascular diseases, etc) and medications (corticosteroid, NSAIDs, etc) are shown in Table 2 and 3. Most patients were treated with multiple drug classes. Additionally, mean direct medical cost per patient was 2,913,509 JPY over the study period and ones by disease severity are shown in Figure 1.
Conclusions This study described the economic burden and clinical characteristics of Japanese SLE patients based on a claims database, which indicated a high level of disease burden.
Funding This study was funded by GlaxoSmithKline.
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