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May 5, 1978

Survival in Corticosteroid-Treated Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

JAMA. 1978;239(18):1846-1847. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280450018008

To the Editor.—  The article by Urman and Rothfield entitled "Corticosteroid Treatment Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Survival Studies" (238:2272, 1977) was most interesting, and we agree with most of the points made in their article. Although bias is unavoidable in a comparison of two groups of patients, one treated in a large city hospital and the other in a smaller university institution during two different periods of time, the data are suggestive of improved survival.Our main point of contention with the authors is that in their Table 4, "Reported Survival in Corticosteroid-Treated Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients," they quoted noncomparable material from our University of Southern California series namely, data from date of diagnosis to death, and compared these results with their own data from date of diagnosis to time of last observation. The comparable data that they should have used are in our monograph,1 an analysis of survival of