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Premature ovarian failure in patients affected by systemic lupus erythematosus: a cross-sectional case control study.

Ceccarelli F1, Orefice V2, Perrone G3, Pirone C2, Perricone C2, Truglia S2, Miranda F2, Pacucci VA2, Spinelli FR2, Galoppi P3, Alessandri C2, Valesini G2, Conti F2.

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2020 Feb 14. [Epub ahead of print]

We evaluated age at natural menopause and the prevalence of premature ovarian failure (POF) in a monocentric Caucasian cohort of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

In this cross-sectional study, we enrolled women affected by SLE compared with healthy controls (HC) to investigate data about natural menopause (amenorrhoea for at least 12 months at ≥40 years) and POF (amenorrhoea for at least 12 months at <40 years). RESULTS: We enrolled 196 SLE (median age 47.0 years, IQR 16.7; median disease duration 132 months, IQR 180) and 90 HC (median age 49.9 years, IQR 15.0). Ninety-four SLE (48.0%) and 26 HC (23.4%) were menopausal: median age at onset was significantly lower in SLE than HC (47 years, IQR 8.0 vs. 50.5 years, IQR 4; p=0.0001). POF was registered in 17% of the SLE, and in none of the HC (p<0.0001). POF was significantly associated with anti-Sm (p=0.0004), anti-RNP (p=0.02), anti-cardiolipin (p=0.0008), lupus anticoagulant (p=0.0002), treatment with cyclophosphamide (p=0.0001), azathioprine (p=0.0001), mycophenolate mofetil (p=0.0001), cyclosporine A (p=0.007). CONCLUSIONS: SLE patients develop menopause at a younger age; moreover, a higher POF frequency was observed in SLE patients in comparison with HC. POF is associated with specific SLE-related autoantibodies and the use of immunosuppressant drugs, in particular cyclophosphamide.