Steroid Use Remains Constant In Lupus TreatmentThe health and survival of lupus patients have steadily improved over the past 35 years despite the fact that no new lupus treatments have been approved since 1970. Similarly, the predicted death rate for lupus in 2005 dropped to 3.2 times the expected mortality for age- and sex-matched healthy individuals, compared with 14.4 times that of the healthy population in 1970, added a team from the Center for Prognosis Studies in the Rheumatic Diseases at Toronto Western Hospital.

The credit for the steady improvement goes to a trio of factors, according to Dr. Murray Urowitz, and colleagues. These are aggressive treatment, more use of immunosuppressants, and a reduction in the cumulative dose of steroids.

During the 35 years of studies, steroid use remains fairly constant but the cumulative doses of steroids has decreased, while immunosuppressives usage has increased.