Antimalarials save lupus patients’ lives


January 8, 2021 (Vancouver) – New Arthritis Research Canada study reveals systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients who take their antimalarial medications regularly have a 71 per cent lower risk of death than those who do not take them regularly and an 83 per cent lower risk than those who discontinue use altogether.

“The results of this study call attention to the need for improved strategies to boost antimalarial adherence among SLE patients to increase survival and prevent premature death,” said Hui Xie, a Research Scientist at Arthritis Research Canada.

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that leads to serious organ complications and premature mortality when not managed.

Antimalarial medication is considered the first-line drug in managing SLE for most patients. These medications have been shown to improve SLE symptoms and reduce inflammation of the lining of the heart and lungs, the development of kidney inflammation, central nervous system impairment, and flares in disease activity.

“This study is one of the first to examine antimalarial adherence in SLE patients,” Xie said. “It is a big step forward in improving life expectancy for patients with this disease.”

To read the full research paper, click here.


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Arthritis Research Canada is the largest clinical arthritis research institution in North America. Our mission is to transform the lives of people living with arthritis through research and engagement. Arthritis Research Canada’s scientific director, Dr. Diane Lacaille is leading a team of over 100 researchers, trainees and staff whose world recognized research is creating a future where people living with arthritis are empowered to triumph over pain and disability. Arthritis Research Canada is conducting research across Canada in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec and is affiliated with five major universities: University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Calgary, Université Laval, and McGill University. Arthritis Research Canada is leading research aimed at arthritis prevention, early diagnosis, new and better treatment, and improved quality of life.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Heather Caulder

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

604-207-4010 or hcaulder@arthritisresearch.ca


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