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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How Lupus Discriminates Against African American Women

Black woman with Lupus

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage anything from the skin to joints and even the organs. Lupus symptoms usually last for many years. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, Lupus affects about 1.5 million Americans, but African-American women are three times more likely to develop the disease than white women.

How lupus discriminates

Besides affecting African-American women three times greater than white women, Lupus also tends to develop earlier in life. African-American women with Lupus also have a greater risk for developing kidney problems and other health complications from Lupus. Why?

What studies show about African-Americans and Lupus

A study done in 1993, the Lupus in Minorities: Nature Versus Nurture (LUMINA) study, showed a genetic and ethnic link that influenced the disease in African Americans as well as Latino and Native American women. In fact, kidney failure and cardiac disease were greatest among Latino women, and African-American women have the greatest risk for Lupus-related seizures, hemorrhage, and stroke.

The best defense

The best defense for avoiding complications relating to Lupus is to get diagnosed early. Learn how to recognize the symptoms, such as fever, rash, hair loss, and mouth ulcers, and seek medical attention immediately.

For more information on Lupus, visit
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