One in six SLE patients readmitted in 30 days, Study
One in six SLE patients readmitted in 30 days, Study

Readmission Rates High in Lupus, study shows

Readmission within 30 days of discharge is very common among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a new study finds.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of California. They found that one in every six lupus patients is readmitted to hospital within 30 days of being discharged after treatment.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which patients’ immune systems attack healthy tissues and organs. Symptoms vary widely between patients, but most people with lupus have tender and swollen joints — similar to arthritis.

According to the authors, 20 to 25 percent of lupus patients are hospitalized each year, usually due to infections or similar symptoms.

This study looked at the rate of hospital readmissions for lupus patients with a recent hospital visit.

Using health care databases from five states, researchers looked for hospital admissions among lupus patients within 30 days of a hospital discharge from January 2008 to November 2009. They found that 31,903 people with lupus were hospitalized 55,936 times.

Readmissions within 30 days occurred in 1 in 6 cases (16.5 percent), affecting 4,916 patients, the study authors noted.

The researchers found that the readmitted patients were usually young, female and from ethnic minorities.

The readmitted patients often had severe lupus symptoms like seizures or kidney disease and paid with publicly funded health insurance like Medicaid or Medicare.

The study authors said that populations that were “historically underserved” — like black and Hispanic patients and patients with Medicaid or Medicare — were most at risk of 30-day readmissions.


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