The majority of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have poor quality of sleep, according to research presented at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Congress 2017, held June 14 to 17 in Madrid, Spain.

Researchers from the Department of Rheumatology, Medical University, Sofia, Bulgaria, examined the associations among sleep quality, quality of life, and disease activity in patients diagnosed with SLE.

“[SLE] patients are known to have sleep disturbances,” the researchers wrote. “Quality of sleep may affect quality of life, but this association has not been systematically evaluated.”

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The researchers enrolled 132 patients with SLE whose diagnoses are in accordance with American College of Rheumatology classification criteria to complete several questionnaires: the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12), the Lupus Patient-Reported Outcome tool (LupusPRO), and the SLE Quality of Life Questionnaire.

The majority of the participants (84.4%) showed sleep disturbances (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, >5). Total Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score was weakly associated with all the SF-12 subcategories and showed weak to moderate associations with the LupusPRO subcategories (r<0.05) except “medication” (r<0.20). “Sleep duration” was not associated with any of the SF-12 or LupusPRO subcategories, whereas “sleep efficiency” was weakly associated with “physical health,” “physical function,” and “pain” in the SF-12 and LupusPRO. “Sleep quality” and “sleep disturbances” were weakly associated with “pain,” whereas “emotional” and “mental” subcategories in the SF-12 and LupusPRO. The SLE Quality of Life Questionnaire score was significantly higher in patients with good sleep.

“We found that quality of sleep, especially ‘sleep efficiency,’ was poor for the majority of patients with SLE,” the researchers concluded. “Quality of sleep was associated with various aspects of life, especially pain, vitality, and emotional health. Management of pain and emotional health may be important for improving quality of sleep in SLE patients.”

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Monov S, Monova D, Ivanova M. Association Between Quality of Sleep, Quality of Life and Disease Activity in Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Presented at: European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Congress 2017; June 14-17 2017; Madrid, Spain. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-eular.1450

This article originally appeared on Rheumatology Advisor