Black Women Impacted More by Lupus, Say New Studies
Source Newsroom: American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA)
Available for logged-in reporters only
Newswise — DETROIT, October 25, 2013 - Two epidemiological studies published in the current online edition of the journal, Arthritis and Rheumatism, confirm a long-held belief by the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. (AARDA) and many others in the autoimmune disease community – that Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE or lupus) disproportionately affects young African-American women. However, these studies reveal the incidence rate is far greater and impacts these women at a much earlier age than previously thought.
The two studies from National Lupus Registries in Georgia and Michigan are from the largest and most far-reaching epidemiology study ever conducted on lupus. With a grant from and under direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and in partnership with the Georgia and Michigan state health departments, investigators from Emory University and the University of Michigan led this landmark study to include blacks and whites of all ages.
An extensive review of records from hospitals, specialists' offices and clinical laboratories within Georgia and Michigan showed blacks had an increased proportion of lupus-related renal (kidney) disease and progression to end-stage renal disease than whites, and that black females developed lupus at a younger age than white females.
"Black women had very high rates of lupus, with an incidence rate in Georgia nearly three times higher than that for white women, with significantly high rates in the 30-39 age group," said Georgia principal investigator, S. Sam Lim, M.D., M.P.H.,Emory University, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Atlanta, Georgia. "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."
"We found a striking difference in patterns of lupus between the black and white populations, which may help us better assess risk for developing this disease," explained Michigan principal investigator, Emily C. Somers, PhD ScM, University of Michigan, Departments of Internal Medicine, Environmental Health Sciences, and Obstetrics & Gynecology, Ann Arbor, MI. "Not only was the peak risk of lupus earlier among black females, but a higher proportion also developed severe or life-threatening complications of lupus, such as neurologic or kidney disease, including end-stage renal disease. Healthcare providers caring for this population should be aware of the importance of screening for early signs of lupus, in particular kidney disease."
The National Lupus Patient Registry is the first comprehensive population-based epidemiology study in lupus, with five registry sites located in Georgia, Michigan, California, New York and the Indian Health Service. The sites are collaborating to use similar case definitions and data collection procedures to capture diagnosed lupus in these areas and allow more accurate data comparison, critical in assessing this disease.
“All autoimmune diseases would benefit from national patient registries like this,” said Virginia Ladd, Founder and President of AARDA. “Lupus is one of more than 100 autoimmune diseases that are complicated and debilitating and tend to strike more women than men. Registries such as this one would provide much-need data and insight into diseases, including multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, Grave’s disease and others.”
About Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune disease (AD) disproportionately affects women. Of the 50 million Americans living and coping with ADs, more than 75 percent are women. AD is one of the top 10 leading causes of death of women under the age of 65. It encompasses more than 100 diseases, including psoriasis, Graves’ disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and lupus. It is responsible for more than $100 billion in direct health care costs annually.
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) is the nation's only non-profit organization dedicated to bringing a national focus to autoimmunity as a category of disease and a major women's health issue, and promoting a collaborative research effort in order to find better treatments and a cure for all autoimmune diseases. For more information, please visit www.aarda.org.
Follow us on social media, including: