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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Study Confirms What Most Black Women Already Knew About Lupus

Jokiva Rivers, Black woman with lupus
Jokiva Rivers, a lupus fighter, model and activist
Studies show that lupus disproportionately affects minority women, especially black women. The disease is most prevalent in black women, followed by Hispanic, Asian, and white women.
Two different studies were done on the incidence of lupus -- the Manhattan Lupus Surveillance Program and the California Lupus Surveillance Project. Both studies were funded by the U.S. Centers For Disease Control (CDC). Although the CDC has been tracking lupus since 2004, it wasn't until recently that research studies showed how much more black women are affected by lupus than any other group.

Symptoms often ignored

Lupus is defined by the Mayo Clinic as a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your body's immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Lupus can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. However, the symptoms are often ignored and associated with another illness. The most distinctive symptom is a rash in the pattern of a butterfly that can appear on the face and cheeks. But symptoms vary from one patient to another.

Other symptoms

Symptoms can also include headache, confusion, memory loss, chest pain, shortness of breath, dry eyes, fatigue, fever, joint pain and swelling, and skin lesions.

Not only is the incidence rate of lupus 4 times higher among black women, but black women also have worse disease. In addition, they have twice as many renal diseases resulting from lupus. As a result of the recent studies, researchers agreed that more studies are required in order to better understand why lupus affects more black women and to develop treatment that improves their outcome.

Learn more about this study by visiting
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