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June 11 2016 12:03 PM ET via RheumReports RheumReports

Sleep disturbances are often reported by patients with lupus. Ludici et al (#FR10343) analyzed the data from the Italian Cohort of lupus in Naples.

This study aimed to determine the prevalence and factors associated with sleep disturbances with a focus on inactive lupus patients. Consecutive patients seen at a single centre were invited to participate in this study. All patients had no evidence of clinically active lupus and were maintained on standard of care therapy including anti-malarial, glucocorticoids and/or immunosuppressive therapy.

Sleep disturbances were evaluated with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Patients also completed the SF-36, disability index, VAS pain and VAS fatigue scales. Overall 90 patients completed the questionnaires (mean age 43 +/- 18 years). 

Poor sleep quality was defined as PSQI score > 5 and was reported by 42% of patients. Further analysis showed no difference in the prevalence of sleep disturbances among patients with or without standard of care therapy (including glucocorticoids). PSQI score correlated moderately with pain, fatigue, and the mental and physical component scores of SF-36.

This study concluded that sleep disturbances are common among inactive lupus patients. Low quality of sleep negatively impacted quality of life of patients and it was associated with disability, fatigue and pain. 

This study described a very important aspect in the life of lupus patients and further studies are needed to better understand the risk factors for sleep disturbances in patients with lupus.

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About the Author

Dr. Zahi Touma
Dr. Zahi Touma

Dr. Touma is a clinical epidemiologist and an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Toronto, and Staff Physician and Clinician Scientist in the Division of Rheumatology, Toronto Western Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital. In 2012 he completed his PhD in Clinical Epidemiology and subsequently completed one year of post-doctoral work in Measurement in Clinical Research.

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