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Systemic lupus erythematosus and other stories . . .

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g6818 (Published 19 November 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6818

Because serious diseases need serious treatments, we can never ascertain the natural course of conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). But an inception cohort of 382 patients newly diagnosed with SLE in Birmingham from 1989 onwards (Rheumatology 2014, doi:10.1093/rheumatology/keu412) tells us a lot about the possible courses of this multifarious disease and its treatments. The overall standardised mortality of the cohort was 2.0, and infection (37.8%), cardiovascular disease (27%), and cancer (13.5%) were the top three causes. The drug treatments most associated with poor prognosis were corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide.

Health checks every five years for everyone aged 40-74 are one of the most contentious impositions on primary care in the NHS. Researchers identified 65 324 men and 75 032 women who had received health checks using the Clinical Practice Research Datalink in England (Journal of Public Health 2014, doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdu079). Of those identified as having a 10 year cardiovascular risk ≥20%, 18% of men and 21% of women were …

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