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What is it?

Lupus (SLE) is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disorder that may affect many organ systems including the skin, joints and internal organs. SLE affects women eight times more often than men and usually occurs between the ages of 10 and 50. Certain drugs may also cause SLE. Late onset disease (>50 years) is evenly split between men and women.

The disorder usually begins in one organ but others may be involved as it progresses. Some ways lupus shows itself include: arthritis-like joint pain; a rash – particularly one resembling a butterfly across the nose and cheeks; increased protein in the urine; seizures; psychoses; blood clots leading to strokes and pulmonary emboli; and inflammation of parts of the heart and lungs.

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Last Review Date: December 18, 2016