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Are You At a Greater Risk of Getting Lupus?

RM Lupus
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If you were to stop 5 people at random on the street and ask them if they have heart of the disease known as lupus, chances are they will say they have. Ask that what lupus is, however, and in all likelihood, you will receive some blank stares.

For those who are unaware, Lupus is a complex autoimmune disease that affected roughly 1.5 million Americans and over 5 million people worldwide. As the disease is chronic in nature, it will come and go throughout a person’s lifetime with moments of intense flare ups and remission.

The disease occurs when the immune system mistakes healthy tissue in the body for foreign invaders and attacks, which causes inflammation, and extreme fatigue, pain, fever, anemia, hair loss and potential damage to numerous other body parts.

What’s interesting is, that while for the longest time, doctors and scientists believed that lupus was a rather random disease, at least in the people it affected. Now, however, they are learning that it isn’t as random as they once thought; in fact, lupus seems to target people with certain risk factors, which in turn increases their susceptibility.

So what do people need to be on the lookout for, or what factors might they already have that put them at greater risk of contracting lupus? Thankfully, you can put your mind at ease; because we have them right here.

Gender

While we like to think of diseases as unbiased, the fact remains that nearly all (90 percent) of people diagnosed with lupus are women. Typically, lupus only occurs in women of childbearing age; however, men; children and teens are all at risk.

Age

Of those who have presented symptoms, it seems that the age bracket is usually between 15 and 44 years old.

Race

Lupus is 2 to 3 times more common in African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, than among Caucasians.

Family History/Genetics

As it is states by the Lupus Foundation of America, if a person is related to someone with lupus, then their chances of contracting the disease instantly increases between 5 and 13 percent. If you are a child who was born to a mother with lupus, then you risk increases by 5 percent.

Infection

People who have suffered from certain infections including, cytomegalovirus (CMV), parvovirus, and hepatitis C are at an increased risk for developing lupus. Children with the Epstein-Barr virus are also at a greater risk for lupus

Do you fall into any of these categories that put you at greater risk? If so, we advise you speak to your doctor on your next visit, because a clean be of health depends on all the facts being known.

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