National Institute on Aging

Emory University Study Finds Huge Racial Disparity in Rates of Lupus

emory-logoA study led by researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta finds that African American women were three times as likely as White women to contract lupus, a serious autoimmune disease. And the data showed that Black women were significantly more likely to develop lupus at a younger age than White women.

Lupus is an unpredictable and often misunderstood chronic autoimmune disease that can ravage different parts of the body. It is difficult to diagnose, hard to live with and a challenge to treat. Lupus has a range of symptoms, strikes without warning, and has no known cause and no known cure. Its health effects can range from a skin rash to a heart attack or kidney failure.

Lead author of the study, S. Sam Lim, an associate professor in the Division of Rheumatology at Emory’s School of Medicine, stated, “These are young women in the prime of their careers, family and fertility. This means a severely compromised future with a disease that waxes and wanes, affecting every aspect of daily living for the rest of their lives.”

Here is a video show two African American women discussing the difficulty of living with lupus.


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