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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Blog

Related terms: Disseminated Lupus Erythematosus, Lupus, SLE

Mercury in Seafood May Raise Risk of Autoimmune Diseases in Women: Study

Posted 10 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – The mercury found in some seafood may be linked to autoimmune disorders among women of childbearing age, new research suggests. Autoimmune diseases develop when the body's immune response goes awry and starts to attack healthy cells. Such diseases include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and "Sjogren's syndrome." All told, these diseases affect roughly 50 million Americans, most of whom are women, the University of Michigan researchers said. "We don't have a very good sense of why people develop autoimmune disorders," study author Emily Somers said in a university news release. "A large number of cases are not explained by genetics," she added, "so we believe studying environmental factors will help us understand why autoimmunity happens and how we may be able to intervene to improve health outcomes. In our study, ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Autoimmune Disorders, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Sjogren's Syndrome, Lupus Erythematosus, Mercury Poisoning

Lupus Death Rates Vary by Race, Ethnicity, Study Finds

Posted 15 Jan 2015 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 – Asian and Hispanic lupus patients in the United States have lower death rates than whites, blacks or Native Americans with the disease, a new study reveals. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes joint and organ damage. Autoimmune disorders mean the body's immune system attacks healthy body tissue by mistake, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. "While previous research has examined racial differences among lupus patients, the studies have primarily been based at academic research centers," said lead author Dr. Jose Gomez-Puerta, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "Our study investigates the variation in death rates due to lupus among different ethnic groups in a general clinical setting." Researchers reviewed Medicaid claims filed by more than 42,200 lupus patients, aged 18 to 65, between 2000 and 2006. Of those patients, nearly ... Read more

Related support groups: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Lupus Erythematosus

Certain Symptoms Can Delay Lupus Diagnosis, Researchers Report

Posted 20 Aug 2014 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 19, 2014 – Lupus and other rheumatic diseases can cause neurological symptoms such as headaches and seizures, which can delay a correct diagnosis for months, a new report says. Treatments for rheumatic diseases can also cause these types of symptoms, according to neurologists at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill. Rheumatic disorders include autoimmune and inflammatory diseases of the joints and soft tissues, such as lupus, systemic vasculitis and ankylosing spondylitis. "Rheumatic disorders presenting as neurological syndromes may pose diagnostic challenges," study senior author Dr. Sean Ruland, an associate professor in the neurology department, and colleagues said in a medical center news release. The researchers noted that more than half of lupus patients suffer headaches, and one-third have migraines. Up to 20 percent have seizures, one-third have ... Read more

Related support groups: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Lupus Erythematosus

Lupus Patients Face High Rehospitalization Rates

Posted 11 Aug 2014 by

MONDAY, Aug. 11, 2014 – One in six hospitalized lupus patients requires readmission to the hospital within a month after discharge, according to a new study. While patients' disease severity contributed to readmission rates, other population differences suggest hospitals might be able to reduce rehospitalizations through better discharge plans and by addressing disparities in health care, said Dr. Jinoos Yazdany, lead researcher and associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Lupus is a disease in which the immune system attacks the body. Although researchers don't understand all of its causes, there is a genetic component to the disease, Yazdany said. Drugs that suppress the immune system can help control lupus but often with bad side effects. Lupus afflicts approximately 10 times more women than men and disproportionately affects racial and ethnic ... Read more

Related support groups: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Lupus Erythematosus

Groundbreaking Partnership Formed to Develop New Treatments

Posted 4 Feb 2014 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 4, 2014 – In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the U.S. National Institutes of Health has partnered with 10 drug companies and several nonprofit groups to speed development of biological ways of diagnosing and treating common chronic diseases. The first diseases targeted by the Accelerating Medicines Partnership are Alzheimer's, type 2 diabetes and two autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The partnership will invest more than $230 million over five years on these initial projects. The data and analyses that result will be made available to all biomedical researchers, the NIH said. "Patients and their caregivers are relying on science to find better and faster ways to detect and treat disease and improve their quality of life," NIH director Dr. Francis Collins said in an agency news release. "Currently, we are investing a great deal of money and time in ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Alzheimer's Disease, Lupus Erythematosus, Autoimmune Hepatitis

Lupus More Likely to Affect Young, Black Women, Study Finds

Posted 29 Oct 2013 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 29 – Young, black women are at higher risk for lupus and suffer more life-threatening complications than white women, a new study says. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes symptoms such as fatigue, fever, rashes and joint pain. It can lead to serious organ damage, and occurs more often in women than in men. For the new study, University of Michigan researchers analyzed data from about 2.4 million people in the southeastern part of the state and found that lupus affected one in 537 black women, compared with one in 1,153 white women. Black women were more likely to be diagnosed with lupus at a younger age and during childbearing years, the researchers found. Along with developing lupus earlier in life, black women with the disease also had higher rates of serious health complications, such as kidney failure and neurological problems, according to the study, which ... Read more

Related support groups: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Lupus Erythematosus

Headaches Accompanying Lupus Often Not Disease-Related, Study Finds

Posted 28 Oct 2013 by

MONDAY, Oct. 28 – Headaches are common in people with lupus, but are not linked to disease activity, according to a new study. Researchers reviewed records for more than 1,700 people with lupus, an autoimmune disease that can damage skin, joints and organs, and looked at the headaches they experienced over a number of years. The investigators found that 18 percent of the patients had headaches at the time of diagnosis, but that proportion increased to 58 percent after 10 years. Headaches were linked to a lower health-related quality of life, but were independent of treatment specific to lupus and were not associated with disease activity or lupus medications such as steroids, antimalaria drugs, and immune system-suppressing drugs, according to the study published Oct. 28 in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. "While lupus patients with headaches reported lower quality of life, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Headache, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Lupus Erythematosus

Moms With Lupus More Likely to Have Children With Autism, Study Suggests

Posted 28 Oct 2013 by

SATURDAY, Oct. 26 – Women with lupus are twice as likely to have a child with autism compared to mothers without the autoimmune disease, new, preliminary research finds. However, the overall risk is still low and the findings won't change the management of women with lupus, said one expert. "I wouldn't tell my lupus patients not to get pregnant," Dr. Yousaf Ali, acting chief of rheumatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The study was undertaken to follow up on earlier, small reports that found that women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) – the most common form of the disease – may have an excess risk of having children with an autism spectrum disorder, said lead investigator Dr. Evelyne Vinet, an assistant professor in the rheumatology department at McGill University Health Center in Montreal. "We identified all women with systemic lupus erythematosus in a Quebec ... Read more

Related support groups: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Autism, Lupus Erythematosus

Women With Lupus Seem at Higher Risk for Hip Fractures

Posted 4 Jul 2013 by

THURSDAY, July 4 – Women with lupus – the autoimmune disease that can damage skin, joints and organs – also are at higher risk of a hip fracture known as a cervical fracture, new research from Taiwan suggests. Dr. Shu-Hung Wang, of the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, and his colleagues evaluated nearly 15,000 adults – 90 percent of them women – who had lupus. They followed them for an average of six years. During that time, 75 suffered a hip fracture. Of those, 57 were cervical fractures of the hip; the other 18 were trochanteric fractures of the hip. "Anatomically, cervical hip fractures involve the [uppermost area of the thighbone]," said Dr. Shu-Hung Wang, a rheumatology fellow at the hospital and a co-author of the study. "Trochanteric hip fracture occurs between the lesser and greater trochanters." Trochanters are the bony prominences near the end of the thighbone. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Fracture, bone, Lupus Erythematosus, Prevention of Fractures

No Evidence That Lupus Drugs Lead to Cancer, Says Study

Posted 4 Feb 2013 by

MONDAY, Feb. 4 – Drugs used to treat the autoimmune disease lupus do not significantly increase patients' risk of the blood cancer lymphoma, a new study says. The findings should help reduce widely held fears about a link between lupus medication and lymphoma, said the researchers at McGill University in Montreal. In people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the immune system attacks healthy tissue such as the skin, joints, kidneys and the brain. Medications to suppress the immune system are used to treat lupus, but previous research has suggested that this may put patients at increased risk for lymphoma. Because of fears about developing cancer, some lupus patients are reluctant to take their medication, and others stop taking it. This international study included 75 lupus patients who had lymphoma and nearly 5,000 cancer-free lupus patients. Researchers looked at most of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Lupus Erythematosus, Cytoxan, Cyclophosphamide, Cytoxan Lyophilized, Neosar

Lupus May Be Linked to Serious Pregnancy Complication

Posted 2 Nov 2012 by

FRIDAY, Nov. 2 – A new study suggests that pregnant women with the autoimmune disease lupus may have a twofold increased risk of preeclampsia, a dangerous condition characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Preeclampsia can lead to serious health problems such as seizure, stroke and organ failure and cause the death of the mother and/or baby. The researchers also found that the use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) during pregnancy was associated with a statistically insignificant increased risk of preeclampsia. These medications are used to treat lupus and other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, although their use during pregnancy is rare. The slightly higher risk associated with antirheumatic drugs could be explained by the severity of autoimmune disease among users, according to the study, which was published in the November issue ... Read more

Related support groups: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Lupus Erythematosus

Man's Best Friend Points the Way in Genetic Research

Posted 15 Aug 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 – Dogs may soon become man's best friend on a level that goes far beyond companionship and loyalty. Researchers report that the canine genome, similar in many ways to the human one, is starting to shed light on a wide range of human diseases. What makes dogs particularly interesting to scientists is their breed structure – a type of artificial selection – which creates distinct and diverse lines of animals that range from the muscular German shepherd to the nervous Chihuahua, from the hard-working collie to the perpetually pampered poodle. According to a review article published Aug. 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine, the fact that most purebred dogs have descended from small, closely related parentage with large litters means recessive diseases are common among them. To those interested in genetics, that's exciting. It makes less common recessive diseases ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Osteoarthritis, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Epilepsy, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Autoimmune Disorders, Lupus Erythematosus, Retinal Disorders

Health Tip: Help Avoid a Lupus Flare

Posted 25 Jun 2012 by

-- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health suggests how to help control lupus: Learn to recognize when a flare-up is imminent. Get plenty of rest and try not to push yourself too hard. Try to control stress. Limit exposure to sunlight and halogen or fluorescent lights. Be careful to avoid injury or infection. Don't stop taking lupus medications unless your doctor says so. Exercise moderately, but get your doctor's approval first. Talk to your doctor about any other medications you are taking to see if any could trigger a lupus flare-up. Read more

Related support groups: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Lupus Erythematosus

Strides Made in Diagnosing, Treating Lupus

Posted 10 May 2012 by

THURSDAY, May 10 – Sometimes it takes years for people to get diagnosed with lupus. That wasn't the case for Marisa Zeppieri-Caruana, who had so many of the classic systemic lupus erythematosus symptoms – such as a butterfly-shaped rash on her face, a daily fever and achy joints – that her doctor knew right away that the 23-year-old had the illness. Since then, Zeppieri-Caruana, now 34, has been hospitalized 30 times and has had four mini-strokes along with numerous other problems related to her lupus. Most people who have lupus go through periods where they have active disease (flares) and periods where they don't have any symptoms (remission). Unfortunately, Zeppieri-Caruana said she's never had a time where she's been totally in remission. "An average day for me includes fatigue and fever. It's really hard to try to put weight on, and I usually don't feel like doing anything. I ... Read more

Related support groups: Prednisone, Aspirin, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Methylprednisolone, Prednisolone, Plaquenil, Cortisone, Medrol, Hydrocortisone, Dexamethasone, Triamcinolone, Betamethasone, Hydroxychloroquine, Budesonide, Decadron, Entocort, Lupus Erythematosus, Solu-Medrol, Cortef, Ecotrin

New Guidelines Issued for Severe Lupus

Posted 3 May 2012 by

THURSDAY, May 3 – When diagnosed with lupus, one in three people already has kidney inflammation, and during the first 10 years with the disease as many as 60 percent of patients will have some kidney problems. Because kidney inflammation (also called lupus nephritis) is so common in people with lupus, the American College of Rheumatology has issued new guidelines for the screening and management of this potentially devastating complication of lupus. "Without treatment, lupus nephritis can lead to end-stage-renal disease, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant. But, not all types are this serious. It depends on the pattern of damage to the kidneys," said the lead author of the new guidelines, Dr. Bevra Hahn, a professor of medicine and chief of rheumatology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Hahn said the course of lupus ... Read more

Related support groups: Prednisone, Lisinopril, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Losartan, Benicar, Diovan, Methylprednisolone, Prednisolone, Plaquenil, Cortisone, Medrol, Hydrocortisone, Dexamethasone, Triamcinolone, Ramipril, Cozaar, Micardis, Enalapril, CellCept, Betamethasone

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