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Get information about late-onset lupus.

World lupus day
Fact sheet on late-onset lupus

World Lupus The day is celebrated annually on May 10. World Lupus Day focuses on the need to improve health care services for the patient, more research on the causes and cure for lupus, better medical diagnosis and treatment of lupus, and better epidemiological data on lupus Worldwide.

Why the World Lupus Day? Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects millions of people around the world, both directly and indirectly. It is little recognized as a global health program for the public, health professionals and governments, which drives the need for greater awareness. The early recognition, diagnosis and treatment of lupus help to diminish the debilitating effects of the disease. However, lupus can be difficult to diagnose, since symptoms often mimic common diseases. Improve awareness of symptoms of lupus it will save lives.

Fact sheet on late-onset lupus

Lupus can occur at any age, in any sex, in any race. 15% of people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) develop it later in life after age 55. Late onset lupus affects women 8 times more often than men. Compared with younger patients with SLE, late-onset lupus affects a higher percentage of men. Late-onset lupus is found mainly in Caucasians, but occurs in all races. The symptoms in most cases are relatively mild and commonly include: arthritis, pleuritis (chest pain with deep breathing), pericarditis (swelling of the sac around the heart), muscle pain, dry eyes and dry mouth (Overlap syndrome). Uncommon symptoms include: fever, swollen lymph nodes, seizures, psychosis and Raynaud's phenomenon (fingers turn blue or white with cold). Why symptoms of lupus in older people imitate other diseases, for example, Rheumatoid arthritisSjogren's syndrome, polymyalgia rheumatica, distinguish between them is difficult and can lead to a late or lost diagnosis. Severe renal involvement is less common in late-onset lupus. The average age of onset is 59 years; The average age at diagnosis is 62 years. As a general rule, older people with lupus perform better and their lupus can be treated with conservative therapy. When corticosteroids are required, symptoms are controlled with lower doses (ie, less than 25 mg / day for a month). Drug-induced lupus occurs more often in older people because they are more likely to have conditions (high blood pressure, heart disease) that require treatment that can cause the symptoms of lupus. The symptoms usually fade when the medication is stopped. People with late-onset lupus have a good survival rate and rarely die from the disease or complications of therapy when treated conservatively.

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Reviewed medically by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in critical surgical care August 2, 2017

With the kind permission of the Lupus Foundation of America (

WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information © 2005-2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. You May Also Like:

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