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Type: Journal article
Title: Survival and quality of life in incident systemic sclerosis-related pulmonary arterial hypertension
Author: Morrisroe, K.
Stevens, W.
Huq, M.
Prior, D.
Sahhar, J.
Ngian, G.
Celermajer, D.
Zochling, J.
Proudman, S.
Nikpour, M.
Hill, C.
Lester, S.
Nash, P.
Ngian, G.
Rischmueller, M.
Roddy, J.
Sahhar, J.
Strickland, G.
Thakkar, V.
Walker, J.
Citation: Arthritis Research and Therapy, 2017; 19(1):122-122
Publisher: BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 1478-6354
Statement of
Kathleen Morrisroe, Wendy Stevens, Molla Huq, David Prior, Jo Sahhar, Gene-Siew Ngian, David Celermajer, Jane Zochling, Susanna Proudman, Mandana NikpourEmail author and the Australian Scleroderma Interest Group (ASIG)
Abstract: Background: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a leading cause of mortality in systemic sclerosis (SSc). We sought to determine survival, predictors of mortality, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) related to PAH in a large SSc cohort with PAH. Methods: We studied consecutive SSc patients with newly diagnosed (incident) World Health Organization (WHO) Group 1 PAH enrolled in a prospective cohort between 2009 and 2015. Survival methods were used to determine age and sex-adjusted standardised mortality ratio (SMR) and years of life lost (YLL), and to identify predictors of mortality. HRQoL was measured using the Short form 36 (SF-36) instrument. Results: Among 132 SSc-PAH patients (112 female (85%); mean age 62 ± 11 years), 60 (45.5%) died, with a median (±IQR) survival time from PAH diagnosis of 4.0 (2.2-6.2) years. Median (±IQR) follow up from study enrolment was 3.8 (1.6-5.8) years. The SMR for patients with SSc-PAH was 5.8 (95% CI 4.3-7.8), with YLL of 15.2 years (95% CI 12.3-18.1). Combination PAH therapy had a survival advantage (p < 0.001) compared with monotherapy, as did anticoagulation compared with no anticoagulation (p < 0.003). Furthermore, combination PAH therapy together with anticoagulation had a survival benefit compared with monotherapy with or without anticoagulation and combination therapy without anticoagulation (hazard ratio 0.28, 95% CI 0.1-0.7). Older age at PAH diagnosis (p = 0.03), mild co-existent interstitial lung disease (ILD) (p = 0.01), worse WHO functional class (p = 0.03) and higher mean pulmonary arterial pressure at PAH diagnosis (p = 0.001), and digital ulcers (p = 0.01) were independent predictors of mortality. Conclusions: Despite the significant benefits conferred by advanced PAH therapies suggested in this study, the median survival in SSc PAH remains short at only 4 years.
Keywords: Australian Scleroderma Interest Group (ASIG)
Hypertension, Pulmonary
Scleroderma, Systemic
Quality of Life
Middle Aged
Rights: © The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
DOI: 10.1186/s13075-017-1341-x
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