An enquiry of the Dutch Lupus Patients Society revealed that 49 % of the members had experienced psychiatric symptoms before systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) was diagnosed and 33% had sought professional psychiatric help at that stage. To determine the frequency of SLE on psychiatric admission 2,121 patients were tested for the presence of SLE-specific antinuclear and anti-DNA autoantibodies. The results suggest that SLE is a cause of admission in psychiatric hospitals at the rate of 0.1–0.2% and routine screening of antinuclear and anti-DNA antibodies on admission is not an effective diagnostic approach.

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