Lupus Epidemiology Research Team

Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, multisystem autoimmune disorder. Our research team studies outcomes related to and risk factors for SLE using epidemiological methods. We are a part of the Chronic Inflammatory Diseases Epidemiology research section based at the Clinical Epidemiology Division, Department of Medicine Solna.

What we do

We use contemporary Swedish population-based register data to better understand the demographic, clinical and lifestyle factors which drive increased risks of outcomes related to SLE and identify risk factors for SLE. Our overall goal is to quantify risks so that care for people with SLE can be improved.

Elizabeth Arkema

Principal researcher
K2 Department of Medicine, Solna

Julia Simard

Affiliated to research
K2 Department of Medicine, Solna

Ongoing research

We are examining the reproductive consequences of SLE and SLE-related treatment, including pregnancy outcomes in mothers and adverse events in offspring.

We have several completed and ongoing studies identifying risk factors for SLE, such as familial risk, perinatal factors and comorbidities such as endometriosis.

Our investigations into the long-term outcomes associated with SLE include studies on stroke, cardiovascular disease and cancer.


Our current work is supported by the Ingegerd Johansson Foundation.

Past funders include Svenska Läkaresällskapet, Stroke-Riksförbundet, the National Institutes of Health, and the Strategic Research Area in Epidemiology (SFO Epi) at Karolinska Institutet.


Currently, we work closely with the following entities:

  • Karolinska University Hospital, Department of Medicine Solna, Rheumatology Division,
  • Linköping University, Department of Biomedical & Clinical Sciences, Rheumatology/Division of Inflammation & Infection

Please contact us if you would like to collaborate!

Contact us

You can reach us via the following channels:

  • Email:
  • Post: Clinical Epidemiology Division T2, Dept of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital (T2), 171 76 Stockholm
  • Visit us at: Clinical Epidemiology Division, Karolinska University Hospital, Eugeniahemmet (T2), Stockholm

Our work in the news


Maternal hypertensive disorders in SLE pregnancy and future cardiovascular outcomes.
Simard JF, Rossides M, Arkema EV, Svenungsson E, Wikström AK, Mittleman MA, et al
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2020 Jan;():

Preterm Delivery Phenotypes in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Pregnancies.
Simard JF, Chaichian Y, Rossides M, Wikstrom AK, Shaw GM, Druzin ML
Am J Perinatol 2019 Jul;36(9):964-968

New-onset non-infectious pulmonary manifestations among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus in Sweden.
Forbess LJ, Rossides M, Weisman MH, Simard JF
Arthritis Res. Ther. 2019 02;21(1):48

Do Death Certificates Underestimate the Burden of Rare Diseases? The Example of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Mortality, Sweden, 2001-2013.
Falasinnu T, Rossides M, Chaichian Y, Simard JF
Public Health Rep ;133(4):481-488

Asthma in Children of Mothers With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and the Role of Preterm Birth.
Rossides M, Nguyen C, Arkema EV, Simard JF
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2018 08;70(8):1269-1274

Dr. Rossides, et al reply.
Rossides M, Simard JF, Svenungsson E, VON Euler M, Arkema EV
J. Rheumatol. 2018 07;45(7):1070

Response to: 'Increased stroke incidence in systemic lupus erythematosus patients: risk factors or disease itself?' by Bruzzese and Zullo.
Arkema EV, Rossides M, Von Euler M, Svenungsson E, Sjöwall C, Simard JF
Ann. Rheum. Dis. 2018 10;77(10):e72

Mortality and Functionality after Stroke in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
Rossides M, Simard JF, Svenungsson E, von Euler M, Arkema EV
J. Rheumatol. 2017 Nov;44(11):1590-1596

Stroke in systemic lupus erythematosus: a Swedish population-based cohort study.
Arkema EV, Svenungsson E, Von Euler M, Sjöwall C, Simard JF
Ann. Rheum. Dis. 2017 Sep;76(9):1544-1549

Cervical neoplasia in systemic lupus erythematosus: a nationwide study.
Wadström H, Arkema EV, Sjöwall C, Askling J, Simard JF
Rheumatology (Oxford) 2017 04;56(4):613-619

Brief Report: Sex Ratio of Offspring Born to Women With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Arkema EV, Askling J, Salmon JE, Simard JF
2017 01;69(1):143-147

Early-onset Preeclampsia in Lupus Pregnancy.
Simard JF, Arkema EV, Nguyen C, Svenungsson E, Wikström AK, Palmsten K, et al
Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 2017 01;31(1):29-36

Medication use among pregnant women with systemic lupus erythematosus and general population comparators.
Palmsten K, Simard JF, Chambers CD, Arkema EV
Rheumatology (Oxford) 2017 04;56(4):561-569

Case definitions in Swedish register data to identify systemic lupus erythematosus.
Arkema EV, Jönsen A, Rönnblom L, Svenungsson E, Sjöwall C, Simard JF
BMJ Open 2016 Jan;6(1):e007769

Endometriosis and systemic lupus erythematosus: a population-based case-control study.
Harris HR, Simard JF, Arkema EV
Lupus 2016 Aug;25(9):1045-9

What to Expect When Expecting With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): A Population-Based Study of Maternal and Fetal Outcomes in SLE and Pre-SLE.
Arkema EV, Palmsten K, Sjöwall C, Svenungsson E, Salmon JE, Simard JF
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2016 07;68(7):988-94

Cohort profile: systemic lupus erythematosus in Sweden: the Swedish Lupus Linkage (SLINK) cohort.
Arkema EV, Simard JF
BMJ Open 2015 Aug;5(8):e008259

Perinatal risk factors for future SLE: a population-based nested case-control study.
Arkema EV, Simard JF
Lupus 2015 Jul;24(8):869-74

Stroke in systemic lupus erythematosus: a meta-analysis of population-based cohort studies.
Holmqvist M, Simard JF, Asplund K, Arkema EV
RMD Open 2015 ;1(1):e000168

Systemic lupus erythematosus prevalence in Sweden in 2010: what do national registers say?
Simard JF, Sjöwall C, Rönnblom L, Jönsen A, Svenungsson E
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2014 Nov;66(11):1710-7