Factors that determine body composition of female systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients in Sri Lanka: a comparative study using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.Lupus. 2013 Aug; 22(9):972-6.L
Studies on body composition and its determinants among SLE patients are limited. Estimation of body composition, analysis of determinants and associations of different body compartments are important in planning long-term care of these patients. The aim of the study was to identify the changes in body composition among SLE patients and assess the effect of corticosteroid use, patient and disease-related variables on body composition. We compared lean mass, fat mass, bone mineral density (BMD), and bone mineral content (BMC) determined by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry technology, in a group of premenopausal women with SLE (n = 27) and an age-matched healthy group of women (n = 27). The median (IQR) duration of SLE was 3 (2-5) years while median (IQR) duration and dose of prednisolone therapy were 108 (88 - 172) weeks and 9730 (6160-15360) mg, respectively. No significant difference was observed in body mass index (BMI) or total fat mass between the two groups. SLE patients, however, had significantly lower lean mass (p < 0.001), BMD (p < 0.001) and BMC (p < 0.005) than healthy controls. Among cases, compared with lean mass, total body fat content showed stronger associations with total body BMD (r = 0.49, p < 0.01) and total body BMC (r = 0.63, p < 0.01). When a stepwise regression model was fitted, lean mass among controls and total fat mass among cases emerged as the best predictors of BMC/BMD. No significant correlations were found between the disease duration or cumulative glucocorticosteroid dose and total body BMD, total body BMC, lean mass or total fat content in SLE patients.