Are Men and Women Equally Susceptible to Lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes joint pain and swelling, rashes, constant fatigue, and other unpleasant symptoms. According to the Lupus Research Alliance, 90 percent of the patients who are diagnosed with lupus are young women. And recent studies have also found that African-American and Latina women are being diagnosed with lupus at higher rates than their Caucasian peers. The precise cause of this disease is still unknown, but researchers are beginning to think that some women carry “lupus susceptibility genes” that can be triggered by environmental factors.

When the body attacks itself:

  • Lupus attacks the organs and tissues, making sufferers vulnerable to serious complications such as kidney disease and heart problems.

  • Diagnosis begins with an antinuclear antibody blood test. A negative ANA test result typically rules out lupus, but a positive result doesn’t always confirm the condition.

  • Treatment for lupus depends on the type of flare-up that the patient is experiencing. Swelling and joint pain may respond to acetaminophen or naproxen, while rashes may be treated with topical steroid creams.

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