We aimed to study the mortality among hospitalized patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We performed a retrospective cross-sectional study and identified patients with SLE who were hospitalized at Jordan University Hospital (JUH) between 2002 and 2017.There were 990 admissions among which 283 were SLE patients. The mean age at disease onset was 34 ± 12.5 years and the female to male ratio was 8.4:1. Forty patients died during the 15-year period. In-hospital case fatality was 14% over 15 years. For the deceased patients, the female to male ratio was 3.4:1, mean age at disease onset was 27.8 ± 11.5 years, mean age at death was 35.1 ± 12 years, and mean disease duration was 7.5 ± 6.9 years. Twenty patients had disease duration ≤ 5 years. Infection and SLE-related complication contributed equally to mortality in hospitalized SLE patients (42.5% [CI 27.5%-59%] and 40% [95% CI 25%-56.5%], respectively). Infection related mortality compared to SLE-related mortality was associated with younger age and shorter disease duration (29.5 years versus 38.3 years and 6.4 versus 8.7 years, respectively). CRP was higher in infection related mortality compared to SLE-related mortality (131.4 mg/dl versus 87.6 mg/dl, respectively). Most SLE-related deaths were secondary to pulmonary disease. Renal disease did not contribute directly to mortality. No fatalities were attributed to cardiovascular disease (CVD) or cancer. Infection and active SLE accounted for the majority of deaths at a young age. Significant pulmonary related deaths may indicate a change in trends in SLE mortality, as renal related mortality is expected to decline due to proper management.