ObjectivesWe 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).MethodsIn 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).ResultsWe 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).ConclusionsSLE 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.
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