What Is Lupus?


What is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE; lupus)?

SLE is a lifelong disease wherein the individual’s defense system attacks various parts of the body leading to pain and disease, and if left untreated, death. The organs most often affected are the brain, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, blood vessels, joints, the tissues and the skin and the overall nervous system.

Despite decades of research, the exact cause of lupus is still unknown. Inherited traits and many environmental triggers such as sunlight, physical, mental and emotional stress, hormones, diet, medications, and infections, have been speculated to create the proper setting for the disease.

It occurs in around 30-50/100,000 populationi and with a July 2011 estimate of 102 million people in the Philippinesii, close to 40,000 of the country’s population probably suffer from SLE.

Both men and women can be affected with lupus, but it is predominately found in women between the child-bearing ages of 15-44, although children and elderly can also have lupus.  It is also more common in women or African American, Asian, and Latino decent.

Osio-Salido E, Manapat-Reyes H. Epidemiology of systemic lupus erythematosus in Asia. Lupus October 2010 vol. 19 no. 12 1365-1373

Mollysfund.org. Retrieved from: http://www.mollysfund.org/2012/11/the-lupus-butterfly-rash-or-malar-rash-information-you-need-to-know/