This study aims to review the cumulative clinical and laboratory data of 1,790 Chinese patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Data were compared separately between male and female patients for each disease onset age groups and among three disease onset age groups in male and female patients. The ratio of female to male was 9.2:1, with differences among three age groups. There was no difference in mean age at onset between females and males. But diagnosis delay in male patients is shorter than in females. When compared with females, in adult-onset patients, males presented more frequently with serositis, pleuritis and discoid rash, but less frequently with malar rash, alopecia, oral ulcers, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, anti-nuclear, anti-SSA and anti-SSB antibodies. In younger-onset group, males have less discoid rash. In older-onset group, males have less anti-SSA antibodies. In male patients, only anti-SSB antibodies were different in three age groups and negatively correlate to age. Among female patients, age had negative correlations with malar rash, discoid rash, photosensitivity, anti-dsDNA, anti-Sm, anti-SSB and anti-rRNP antibodies, but positive correlation with leucopenia. We conclude that women of childbearing age possess a distinct clinical and laboratory profile. In addition, differences in disease manifestations seem to be correlated with female sex hormones rather than age. 2009 Springer-Verlag.
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